James McCarthy backs Pat Gilroy to succeed with Dublin hurlers
By John Harrington
Dublin footballer James McCarthy believes the appointment of Pat Gilroy as Dublin hurling team manager is a very shrewd one.
McCarthy played under Gilroy when he was Dublin football team manager from 2009 to 2012, and highlights his organisational skills as his major strength.
“It's a very good appointment for the hurlers and I'm sure they'll be happy with him,” said McCarthy today when he was announced as the PwC GAA/GPA Footballer of the Month for September.
“I know from experience he's a very good manager. He'll get a very united bunch, get everyone together, and maybe the guys who are not there at the moment I reckon will come back in.
“He makes you want to play. He gets teams very driven and wanting to play for Dublin.
“From the start he organised and pooled everything really well. Everyone knew what was going on and that's half the battle when you're working with 35 players and 10 or 15 in the backroom team.
“You need to be able to know everyone's role and job and he was really good at doing that.”
Gilroy played club hurling for St. Vincent’s but would be far better known as a football man than a hurling aficionado.
But McCarthy does not think that will hinder him in any way from being as effective a hurling manager as he was a football one with Dublin.
“I think that can jump across to any sport be it hurling or football,” said McCarthy.
“Football and hurling are quite similar anyway, very much the same rules in the majority of them so he should be able to cross over no problem.
“I'm not sure who's coming in with him exactly but I'm sure he'll have hurling skills coaches who'll come in and work on that element of the game. Best of luck to them all anyway, I hope they get a good bit of success.”
There has been some speculation that Gilroy may try to persuade talented dual players like Diarmuid Connolly and Eric Lowndes to switch from the county football to hurling panel, but McCarthy doesn’t think that’s likely to happen.
“I certainly hope not!”, he said. “We're riding our crest of a wave and want to keep that going for another few years.”