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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
INPHO/James Crombie Ballymun Rock: The attacker in action against Dr Crokes in the All-Ireland semi-final.
# County Calling
Rock hoping club success can be springboard to county breakthrough
Having shone for Ballymun Kickhams, can the 23 year-old force his way into the reckoning for the Dubs?

HE ADMITS THAT it is hampering his ability to make an inter-county breakthrough but Dean Rock would not swap anything for his current experience with Ballymun Kickhams.

The 23 year-old has been the attacking lynchpin for the Dublin club who are gearing up for Sunday week’s AIB All-Ireland club showdown against St Brigid’s.

It’s the club’s first ever outing in the St Patrick’s Day GAA festival and promises to be a magical occasion for all associated with them.

And Rock is glad to have been sitting at home last Saturday night watching the television footage of his county colleagues in action against Mayo, and looking forward to a Croke Park date of his own at club level.

“This is the experience of a lifetime. Jim (Gavin) said earlier the Ballymun lads would be at a disadvantage having not been there. That’s fair enough. There’s a team gelling there at the minute and they are flying.

“But I think winning anything with your club is the best thing you can ever achieve. The camaraderie you have in the club is just amazing. It’s definitely been the best experience I’ve had so far in my career.”

Dean Rock (Leinster) and Senan Kilbride (Connacht) at yesterday’s 2012 AIB Provincial Player Awards.
Pic: Sportsfile

Rock can boast of a fine underage CV having won an All-Ireland U21 medal in 2010 yet establishing himself at senior level has been tricky. In the summer of 2010, he opted to go travelling in the USA rather than feature on the panel.

Then last year, after starring in DCU’s Sigerson Cup winning side, he was released from the panel by Pat Gilroy before the championship commenced.

Dublin have a vast array of attacking riches at their disposal at present. Bernard Brogan, Paul Flynn, Diarmuid Connolly, Kevin McManamon and Brian Cullen are established players.

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Alan Brogan is recuperating from injury, Paddy Andrews is in excellent form while Ciaran Kilkenny and Cormac Costello are exciting young prospects. While Rock has sparkled for Ballymun Kickhams over the winter and is tipped to make a breakthrough.

It’s a tough frontline to break into but Rock is prepared for the graft required.

“It’s a great forward line but that’s the challenge you want. To be the best you have to beat the rest. There’s no point moping around and feeling sorry for yourself. I’m sure everyone will get a chance, it’s just up to taking your chance.

“It would be nice to come back in with an All-Ireland (club) medal in your pocket and that could only be good for the squad.”

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