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Cunningham accused of 'disrespect' by axed Dublin star Lambert

“I came back from a career-threatening injury in 2013, missed all of 2014 and worked myself back into contention.”

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

SIMON LAMBERT HAS accused manager Ger Cunningham of “disrespect” after confirming that he has been dropped from the Dublin senior hurling panel.

Lambert is one of two players axed by Cunningham – 2014 Allstar nominated goalkeeper Alan Nolan the other.

Cunningham informed the players last week that they are surplus to requirements, as speculation also mounts about the intercounty future of 2013 Allstar forward Danny Sutcliffe.

And Lambert voiced his frustration last night, stating: “I’m disappointed to be left out obviously, considering that I’ve been involved for the last eight years.

“I came back from a career-threatening injury in 2013, missed all of 2014 and worked myself back into contention, starting both of the Galway games (in the 2015 championship).

“The reasons given to me were, in my opinion, disrespectful from where I’ve come from.

“But look, I’m 27 and young enough still to potentially offer a lot to the team in the near future.”

Versatile Lambert sustained serious knee injuries in a club match against Galway outfit Loughrea in August 2013, when he ruptured anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments.

Lambert’s lateral cruciate ligament also required reconstruction but the Ballyboden St Enda’s clubman made his return to intercounty hurling early this year in the Walsh Cup.

Nolan, meanwhile, was nominated for an Allstar after enjoying a brilliant 2014 campaign.

The St Brigid’s netminder also played in both of Dublin’s Leinster championship games against Galway this year but after the Sky Blues leaked five goals in the replay against the Tribesmen, he was dropped as Gary Maguire returned between the sticks.

After the Galway clashes, Lambert missed the All-Ireland qualifier victory over Laois through injury, and wasn’t considered for the Limerick or Waterford matches.

Both Nolan and Lambert were members of the Dublin travelling party to Boston for the recent Fenway Hurling Classic but have since been informed that they will not be involved next year.

Meanwhile, former Dublin boss Michael O’Grady has urged Sutcliffe not to rush into any hasty decisions about his future, as latest reports indicate that the 23-year-old could be set to quit Cunningham’s set-up.

O’Grady said: “Obviously nobody can afford to lose anybody of Danny’s calibre.

“I presume there will be a few retirements but Danny, in his own mind, didn’t have a great year. I thought he had an average year.

“He had a great start but he hasn’t really been up to form for the last 12 months, for club or county.

“Sometimes you do struggle after having a great year. He was an Allstar in 2013, injured in 2014.

“I know the guy, not too well, but he’s an outstanding young man with high ambitions for himself.

“He probably wasn’t happy with his performances this year but that has happened.

“Look at TJ Reid in Kilkenny, thought about giving it up at one stage at county level but I believe it was Henry (Shefflin) who got him to stay on board.”

And O’Grady has tipped Sutcliffe to recover his form and achieve big things with Dublin – only if he remains on board.

“I’ve no doubt in the wide world that Danny Sutcliffe will be a Hurler of the Year in time with Dublin. I think he will captain Dublin, he has everything that Dublin need.

“I would encourage him (to stay), everybody has a tough time and things don’t happen as you would want.

“I would encourage him to stay on board because if he stands down, it would put him back four or five years.”

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