Dotsy’s Dublin buzz

by Gazette Reporter
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DOTSY O’Callaghan says he will miss the “phenomenal buzz” of the county scene following his decision to retire from intercounty hurling in November,
Originally part of the Dublin footballers from 2003, winning two Leinster titles, he then linked up with the hurlers and went on to win the 2013 Leinster championship.
“I’d have known last year that this was coming, I suppose mentally I was prepared for it. I was always quite obsessive about it when I was in the bubble so it’s given me a chance to step back,” he said this week in his role as a Sports Physio Ireland ambassador.
“Obviously, there’s elements you miss and you miss that comradery in the dressing room. The lads are going forward now to try and build up again and obviously that can be a special thing to be part of.”
O’Callaghan was sentimental as he gave his perspective on how the situation played out but holds no regrets in terms of his experience with the panel.
“If I could do it all again, I would do the same thing. I think it is a great buzz, it is a phenomenal buzz being involved with your county panel, you build up great camaraderie, I think it is a special thing. I wouldn’t in any way regret it now.”
The 34 year-old did highlight the high demands involved in the Dublin county scene but emphasised how to not take being on the panel as a given. These large demands ultimately took their toll on O’Callaghan.
“I was doing everything possible to get myself right. The niggles were just coming constantly. It’s not that enjoyable and it’s not the environment to be in, that’s ultimately why I took the step back.
“It is a special, special place, and a place to be embraced when you are there.”
The St Mark’s man also felt the mental challenge which is part and parcel of the responsibility of representing your county was weighing on him too much towards the end of his career.
“Mentally as well, it just felt like the time to step away. That can be quite draining. Unless I could go full-blooded with it, I didn’t want to be putting myself back into it.”
However, O’Callaghan is optimistic ahead of Dublin’s first season without him and has confidence in the up and coming hurlers in the county. He has set the tantalizing Leinster Championship first round tie against Kilkenny as a target for the Dubs to peak, after league games with Limerick and All-Ireland holders Galway.
“There’s a lot of lads who are seriously talented hurlers. If that can be gelled together, you’re playing Kilkenny in the first round and that has to be a bit of a target. Is that beyond the realms of Dublin winning that game? I wouldn’t think so.
“If you could get that going, it doesn’t take a whole lot for Dublin hurling to get on a bit of a roll. So I think you’d be targeting that game, and that would inject huge confidence going forward.”

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