Treacy says Kenny can build on Gilroy foundations
By John Harrington
David Treacy says new Dublin hurling team manager Mattie Kenny has no plans to rip up the script that his predecessor Pat Gilroy put in place.
In his one year in charge Gilroy oversaw good progress that culminated in Dublin losing narrowly to Kilkenny, Galway, and Wexford by a cumulative total of just five points in the 2018 Leinster Senior Hurling Championship.
There was concern when he stepped away from the role because of work commitments that all the building blocks he’d put in place would crumble, but Treacy says Kenny is canny enough to build on that solid foundation rather than start from scratch.
“Looking forward, it's just about getting those extra one per cents from last year,” said Treacy.
“It's not throwing everything out, it's a case of where can we make improvements on what was done last year in Mattie's style or whatever idea he has in his head.
“Great progress made last year but it's a case of where can we add those differences instead of losing by a point or winning by a point.
“That starts with a big test on Sunday (against Galway in the Walsh Cup semi-final). We've had a good couple of games.
“Playing games every week is really beneficial towards us trying to get our style of hurling and knowing who plays where and making sure it's organically becoming a system that we have.”
Treacy knows exactly what Kenny brings to the table having won two All-Ireland club titles under him with Cuala.
According to Treacy he’s the sort of character who has a single-minded focus on winning every match as they come, one at a time.
“The message to the players is very simple, to take every match as it comes...that’s his personality from my experience,” said Treacy.
“I think the priority for him at the beginning was to get the know the rest of the players - he knows all us Cuala lads...It’s up to us then to get into good condition as quick as possible to get ready for the year.
“While the other players are getting used to Matty and he’s getting to know them, their strengths and weaknesses, et cetera, we’re getting to know the new coaches who are involved there - Eoin Roche, Paul O’Brien and these lads.
“There was good progress made last year but Mattie’s single focus now is this season - it’s great to see it, he’s hungry to do as best as we can, and going out and trying to beat every single team we play is the priority now beginning with the Walsh Cup…
“It’s getting as many players on the pitch now to see how it shapes up, to try out these new things, to get the best players on the pitch...It’s about getting our bodies right and being ready for the first round of the league against Carlow.”
Treacy is currently rehabbing a hamstring strain but hopes to be fit for selection in time for that Allianz League opener against Carlow on January 26.
“Yeah, it was just a little niggle against Offaly toward the end of the first half (in the Walsh Cup).
“Mainly precautionary because I've had issues with that before. So it was moerso to get it right at this time of the year when we had a bit of time while the Walsh Cup is going on and we have a full panel to choose from.
“I'm better off getting my body right at this time of the year and making sure that when I'm coming back that it's all good because I don't want to run into those issues half-way through the League or at the end of the League.”