Keaney hits out at 'nonsense' analysis of Dublin hurling
By John Harrington
Former Dublin hurler, Conal Keaney, was annoyed by a lot of the “nonsense talk” that followed the county’s Leinster SHC semi-final victory over Galway.
He’s frustrated that much of the post-match commentary revolved around the chances that Galway missed rather than the ones Dublin converted, and believes the analysis of Dublin teams in general over the years has been “lazy stuff”.
“I don’t think it bothers the squad, that kind of talk, it never bothers them. But on the outside as a supporter, yeah I think it’s frustrating that people don’t give Dublin the credit they deserve,” says Keaney.
“If that was a Tipperary and Galway game and Tipperary beat Galway as Dublin did, everyone would be raving about Tipperary and putting them up there in the top two or three to go a long way in the competition but when it’s Dublin it’s ‘Oh they did well but Galway missed a lot, they won’t win the next day’. That kind of an attitude. I think you can use all that.
“Eventually that all has to turn and it has to change. I agree that only comes when you become a successful team and I hope this team does that.
“It’s been happening a load of times with that kind of an attitude towards Dublin and it’s the same whether it’s the pundits on the Sunday Game or whatever, coming out with the lazy stuff that there’s no marquee forwards in Dublin or we’ve no wrists in Dublin or whatever. At some stage you need to lay down a marker and stop all that nonsense talk.”
Keaney announced his retirement from inter-county hurling earlier this year and was delighted to see his former team-mates deliver a big performance against Galway, but says it won’t count for much if they don’t follow it up with another one in the Leinster Final against Kilkenny.
“It’s great to get to a Leinster Final but ultimately if you don’t win it, it doesn’t mean anything,” he says.
“You forget how many Leinster Finals you were in if you lose them, it doesn’t make a difference.
“It’s all about winning and this team obviously want to stamp their authority, this is a new Dublin team coming. They want that bit of success. If you don’t win in the finals, you’re just forgotten about again, you’re gone back into the pack with everyone else.
“So they want to stamp and make sure they win on the weekend and become this new and exciting, full of energy Dublin team that we’ve seen the last couple of weekends.”
The steady improvement of Dublin hurling is reflected by the five Leinster minor and five Leinster U-20 titles they’ve won in the last 14 years.
They haven’t won an All-Ireland championship though since the 1965 All-Ireland minor title, and have a chance to rectify that statistic when they play Cork in the 2020 Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland Hurling Final on Saturday.
If they could deliver an All-Ireland title after such a long wait, Keaney believes it would be a massive boost for hurling in the capital.
“Look, they're very close, they just need to keep doing what they're doing. The underage, the work the county board is putting in is massive. There's no easy way to get success, so you have to keep bringing these lads through.
“It's not good enough just to get a minor team into an All-Ireland or potentially win an All-Ireland one year and then go missing again for four or five years. It's trying to get that consistency coming through every year between minor and the U-20s.
“Every year then you're picking up three or four lads to introduce to the senior squad which is only going to benefit the squad and give it that boost. It would be great if they do get over the line at the weekend, that would be another boost for Dublin hurling which is needed.”