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The Kilkenny and German connection behind one of Dublin's form forwards

Mark Schutte on his hurling roots and why he has no regrets about giving up football.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

THE SURNAME IS from Germany. The sporting roots are strongly in Kilkenny.

But make no mistake, Mark Schutte is a Dub through and through.

The Cuala man is the capital’s form forward as they prepare to renew acquaintance with old rivals Cork in the Allianz National Hurling League semi-finals this afternoon.

Schutte has fired 1-10 in his last two games, including a brilliant 1-5 from play in the quarter-final win over Limerick three weeks ago.

Dublin have badly needed that kind of firepower, and it has come from a man whose family tree suggests he might be better served at the other end of the pitch.

His brother Paul, also on Ger Cunningham’s panel, is a defender as are both of his Kilkenny cousins, captain Joey Holden and the recently retired Brian Hogan.

“We are somehow related, second or third cousin along the line,” Schutte explains, and later adds: ”I probably got the hurling from the Kilkenny side — it’s a funny enough background alright.”

As a youngster, if the Dubs weren’t playing, Schutte’s loyalties lay with the great Cats teams of the 1990s.

“Growing up, when Dublin weren’t competing I would have always supported Kilkenny with the Kilkenny connection.

“All my idols would have been Kilkenny players. I would always try to look at a Kilkenny player.

“If Dublin were playing Kilkenny, it was the one game I would come in to Parnell Park to see. I probably wouldn’t have gone to too many other games.”

Mark Schutte Schutte at the launch of the Dublin club championships this week. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Before dedicating himself to hurling, Schutte was called up to the Dublin senior football panel by Pat Gilroy in late 2010.

Trying to break in to a team which would go on to lift Sam Maguire for the first time in 16 years, while also trying to help the U21 hurlers in their bid for glory, proved to be too much to juggle.

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Schutte made his call — and went on to play in the 2011 U21 hurling final, where the Dubs lost out to Galway — but he has no regrets about missing out on Sam.

“I felt I wanted to concentrate on playing. I was playing in an All-Ireland final, that was the main thing for me. I wouldn’t have been playing with that senior football team that season.

“It was a good experience. There are a lot of those football players that I look at now and who I learnt a lot from in 2011 who went on to win the All-Ireland, to see what it takes to win an All-Ireland. That is something I have definitely taken and tried to bring to the hurling team, that experience I had on the football panel.

“I won an U21 football All-Ireland the following year under Jim Gavin and that’s another thing I have brought.

“I played with a lot of lads who won the 2013 All-Ireland so I probably have up close experience of lads and the way they train and work and apply themselves to the football.

“It is something I have taken to the hurling and tried to bring to my game in hurling.”

– Dublin v Cork, Nowlan Park, 2pm Sunday

JBM v Ger, free-scoring Cork, Dublin look to Schutte – league semi-final talking points

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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