ST PAT’S Palmerstown’s Liam Rushe has come out in defence of his side amid growing concern surrounding the future of Dublin hurling.
Rumours of discontent in the camp along with criticism of the management team have plagued the side in recent weeks. A heavy 14-point defeat to Galway in the Leinster SHC at the end of last month has only made matters worse.
Speaking in Parnell Park as Aer Lingus launched their Dublin GAA Autumn Transatlantic Offers, Rushe was quick to defend the defeat against Galway:
“At half-time, I thought it was going well and then came a sending off with 40 minutes gone.”
“Galway were just too good to play against for a whole half a man down.”
Dublin displayed some encouraging patches throughout the game, but ultimately lacked experience.
Younger panel members such as Eoghan O’Donnell and Donal Burke, who is just fresh out of the minor ranks, found themselves out of their depth at times.
Many high-profile players have opted out Ger Cunningham’s panel recently, with names such as Danny Sutcliffe and Mark and Paul Schutte leaving a considerable hole in the strength of the Dublin squad.
Last year, defender Michael Carton was extremely vocal about life under Ger Cunnigham, telling Newstalk’s Off The Ball that “it was a toxic environment”.
“It just wasn’t a nice atmosphere. You could see tension within the management team and that’s going to filter down the ranks” he said in the interview.
However, Rushe jumped to defend the management team, playing down the recent rumours of trouble in the camp:
“That was the first championship game for a really new panel. We had a couple of debutants and it was the first time this year we’ve been able to put that team out” Rushe said.
“Selection decisions are obviously the management’s and they live and die by those. Different players left for different reasons, they fell out over different things.
“You’re only ever getting one side of the story. That’s just the nature of it.”
Former Dublin manager Anthony Daly believes that Dublin have to continue with youth, but that they have a tough few months ahead: “You’re looking at the likes of Donal Burke inside on Daithi Burke, just out of minor probably facing the best full-back in the game at the moment. That’s hard going” he said after the Galway defeat.
“It will take time with Dublin now. You have to stick with these younger lads now. Some of the lads who may have still been around would be nearly gone off the scene now anyway.”
With the qualifiers due to take place in just a couple of weeks, Dublin must regroup quickly.