Newly appointed Dublin hurling boss, Anthony Daly, spoke exclusively to FODH about his reasons for accepting the job, his hopes and ambitions for the team and how he hopes to move the Dublin senior hurling team to the next level.
Although approached by other counties to manage their senior hurling teams, Anthony Daly decided to take on the Dublin job because he was impressed by the structures that are in place in the capital for the development of hurling. He sees this development being sustainable going forward and the emphasis being placed on coaching at underage level in the county squads and in clubs is now paying dividends. Daly praised his predecessor, Tommy Naughton, for bringing many young players onto the senior hurling scene and he is confident that others will progress to this level over the coming years. He also noted the increased number of players from Dublin now featuring on third level college teams and the experience being gained by those can only benefit their overall development as hurlers. He sees the success of the colleges’ teams as also being a factor in progress of the game into the future.
For the Dublin team to progress to the next level, Daly feel that there needs to be an increase in intensity in training and in the level of intensity in which hurling skills are performed in matches. Players will need to be able to perform skill at a high level of intensity and in situations where contact is hard and heavy. While lot of work can be done in training and practice games, it is only in the cut and thrust of the competitive league and championship games that the true intensity can be achieved. Much of the preparation over the coming months will be aimed at ensuring that players are able to perform at a level of intensity that is required to project the Dubs to the next level.
National Hurling League 2009?
Daly feels that there may be a perception out there that Dublin is the “weak link” in Division 1 of the 2009 league. There is no Wexford or Offaly in Division 1 and it will be tough going for the Dublin team. However, he intends to train with the championship in mind and the league games will be used to increase the level of performance and to monitor the development of players under the new regime. He is in no doubt that he will learn more about his players and how the team is responding by playing in Division 1 and ultimately the retention of Division 1 status will be a prime objective. He will set internal and personal goals for the team and individual players respectively through the progression of the league campaign.
In what areas does Dublin hurling need to improve?
The new boss sees improvement as being a “package”. He acknowledges the success of the underage teams in Dublin- minor, u-21 and colleges. The task now is to convert this underage success into senior success and this in turn will reinforce the under-age development and sustain the growth and development of hurling into the future. He will continue Tommy Naughton’s policy of bringing young players on board and he wants to establish a steel-like determination among the players in his panel – a determination that will see his team perform to the final whistle in games. Training over the coming months will concentrate on the various elements of the “improvement package” – physical fitness (strength, endurance, speed etc), mental fitness and above all performing the hurling skills at a “ferocious” level of intensity.
Finally- what would the new manager consider to be a successful 2009?
The new manager says that there are really no limits to what can be described as “success” and that he and his mentors need to be “realistic” in what they hope to achieve both on and off the pitch. He would hope that players would agree that standards of training and preparation had been progressed a “good few notches”, that a number of new players had established themselves on the panel, and that the panel was looking forward to 2010 with a renewed vigour. Obviously, the “luck of the draw” after the first round Leinster championship game will have a major bearing on how the remainder of the championship season for the Dubs would progress. Daly would see the fact that a player would opt to play hurling “only” with Dublin or that it was fashionable to be seen as a “Dublin hurler” as a positive development as this would indicate that he and his management team had put in place the necessary conditions for this to happen.