Schutte’s mixed feelings

by Gazette Reporter

CUALA’S triumph in the Dublin senior hurling championship last year and journey to a first Leinster final since 1989 was a joyous occasion for almost all involved with the Dalkey club until the final defeat to Oulart-The Ballagh.
It may have tasted slightly bitter-sweet for Paul Schutte, however, as the 26-year-old was forced to undergo shoulder surgery in October which ruled him out of the county final and the provincial ties that followed.
Schutte is nearing a return to action and very much looking forward to it but reflected on the timing of his injury which was hard to take.
“It was very tough seeing as we would have been seen as under-achievers in a sense. We have so many county lads on the team and it’s hard to justify being on that county team if you’re not winning championships,” said the Cuala man. “I played up until the final but it’s not the same when you’re not on the pitch.
“It gives me motivation for this year anyway to push on because my dad, the O’Callaghan’s dad and the Treacy’s dad were all on the teams that won championships. They weren’t shy of rubbing it in our faces that they’ve got three and we’re the under-achievers. It was nice to finally get that monkey off the back and hopefully we can drive on now,” he added.
The shoulder has proven to be a sore-spot for the Schutte family, which Paul spoke about while discussing his recovery earlier this week. “It was a dislocation,” he said. “This was my second surgery on the same shoulder so me and my brother’s shoulders have been letting us down. Mark’s done his twice now.
“It has been tough but I’ll still get half the league and the championship so there is plenty of work ahead of me. I lost a stone while out and, by the looks of me, I can’t afford to lose that stone so I’ve a lot of work to do in the next few months.”
While speaking at the AIG launch of the Dublin GAA season, Schutte was asked how he thinks Dublin have coped without him so far in 2016. Ger Cunningham’s side set-up will contest a Walsh Cup semi-final vs Galway this Sunday after a convincing 2-20 to 1-9 win over Laois last weekend.
The Dub star praised the energy younger players such as Setanta’s Fiontan MacGibb have given the side and also welcomed back club-mate Oisin Gough who has returned to the Dublin set-up.
“Oisin’s a brilliant player with a great attitude and someone that’s really honest on the pitch.
“He had a brilliant championship with Cuala as well. It’s just such a huge commitment as everyone knows, he just couldn’t commit in the past so now he’s back and he’ll be a huge addition to Dublin.”

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