The Dublin hurling panel has seen some big changes ahead of 2017
Ger Cunningham has made a number of big changes to his hurling panel for 2017, bringing plenty of new faces into the team.
Speaking when he named the panel, Cunningham recognised that there were some players who had been dropped despite huge commitment to the team, including former captain Johnny McCaffrey.
"It is a largely young squad," Cunningham said, "but along with our aims of continuing to try and make Dublin hurling successful in the short term, one of our key aims is building a solid foundation for the future [...] To the players not named on the provisional panel we would like to thank them for their massive commitment to Dublin hurling. Their service was outstanding".
With seven players who had formed part of the previous year's panel not making the cut this time around, there's a big change afoot for Dublin hurling, and Liam Rushe has backed Cunningham's decision to inject some new blood into the squad.
Speaking at an AIG event this week, Rushe said of the panel: "It’s strong. There’s a lot of good players there and I suppose there’s a few interesting calls as well in the people brought in, like Canice Maher. Yeah, looking forward to meeting up now in three weeks and seeing what people are made of."
However, he was also clear that while there will undoubtedly be players who are disappointed, everyone knows that's how the game goes.
"I was surprised by a couple, but it’s the nature of sport and the nature of the GAA in particular. Every autumn you look and so-and-so has been dropped from such-and-such a panel. That’s it. Managers pick their panels and things move on. People have different opinions on it and that’s the way it is."
However, there have been other players who have not agreed so easily with the changes, including Peter Kelly, who voiced his disapproval with Cunningham's changes and removed himself from consideration from the panel.
"Look, everyone has different opinions. Peter is entitled to his, and I’m not going to get into a tit-for-tat with him over that," Rushe added. "He didn’t see eye-to-eye with Ger and pulled out, and that’s his prerogative. We’re amateurs at the end of the day, and if he doesn’t like the set-up or how things are going, his contribution has been valuable and he’s well within his rights to pull out and he did. I respect him for that."
Via Irish Times