MICHAEL CARTON has opted out of the Dublin hurling panel for next season while veteran Kevin Flynn has retired from inter-county service altogether as Anthony Daly puts the finishing touches on a much-altered squad for 2011.
Management have also invited both Conal Keaney and Ross O’Carroll to join their camp from the footballers but are set to wait until the New Year before either player makes a decision.
Carton, 27, played only a bit-part role this year owing to injury and has informed management that he will not be in a position to give his commitment for the coming season.
“He obviously had a very disruptive year last year with the injury and to be fair to him, we’re looking for a major commitment from everyone going back,” manager Daly told the Herald.
“We’re looking at this as the start of another two years when we go back.
“Mikey weighed it up and I’d rather fellas told us now than have to look for replacements next February or March.”
Keaney, who was the subject of a tug-of-war between the football and hurling set-ups last year, excelled again for Ballyboden St Enda’s this year in both codes though he was dropped from the Dublin football team mid-championship and started their post-provincial games from the bench, fuelling speculation he could jump ship.
“We’ve touched base with Conal and with Ross O’Carroll,” Daly revealed.
“Obviously Ross is very busy with Crokes so we wouldn’t be hearing from him again until that is finished.
“Likewise Conal, we stressed that we would love to have him. Just watching him in the Leinster club championship, he’s an outstanding hurler and he would be a massive addition to us. We would like to have it put to bed before the start of the season.
“We would be hopeful but we were hopeful last year as well.
“This year he got more of a chance to hurl with ‘Boden and he looked fantastic, so we’ll see.”
Already, Daly has recruited former Tipperary hurler, Ryan O’Dwyer, who attended a meeting of the hurling panel last Thursday and the Clareman feels his new player can have a big impact with Dublin.
“He was an outstanding underage player with Tipp,” Daly said. “He would have been seen as a huge prospect with Tipp. I saw him play minor and under-21 with Tipp and I would rate him as a fine, tough player.
“I would be very hopeful that he will be a good addition. The fact that he is joining a Dublin club means he is fully on board and he’s giving it the full commitment. He’ll be guaranteed nothing but he will get plenty of chances to show how good he is.”
Former football All Star Shane Ryan will be back again next year as will Liam Ryan, if he can successfully come through a fitness programme over the next six weeks. However, it looks as if Ronan Fallon will not be returning after leaving the squad earlier this season. In addition, management will have the second of two trials this Thursday where they hope to unearth some players who were not part of their squad last year.
“We see this as the beginning of something, without the trappings of having to start again,” Daly stressed.
“We know everyone and they learned a lot about us. There’s a lot of positives and with Martin Kennedy now on board as trainer, there will be a lot of freshness there.”
– Conor McKeon – Evening Herald