Tuesday December 15 2009
SHANE RYAN is set to play his first hurling match for Dublin in over eight years in the upcoming annual Dubs Stars game on Sunday, January 3 at Fingallian’s grounds in Swords as Anthony Daly’s men crank a new season into gear in the annual Evening Herald/Dublin Bus Dubs Stars challenge match.
Ryan, who at the end of this summer called time on a decade-long inter-county football career after a season during which he failed to start in a single game with Pat Gilroy’s panel, was immediately added to Daly’s extended panel and is likely to be given his first chance to win a permanent spot when the Dubs face the Dubs Stars in their first hurling match of the season.
Having amassed five Leinster titles and an All Star during his stint with the footballers, Ryan was confined to the role of substitute this year and made only a brief appearance as a replacement in the 17-point defeat to Kerry.
Since then, Ryan has thrown his lot in with Daly and is reportedly making good progress on the road to regaining his touch. Ryan’s last appearance for the Dublin hurlers was in a league Division one relegation match against Antrim in Parnell Park back in 2001.
Though he did not play for Naomh Mearnóg against St Brigid’s at the weekend but has been a regular for the Portmarnock club’s hurlers since the conclusion of the inter-county season and Daly has indicated he will give Ryan plenty of game time during the Walsh Cup and the league in order to gauge his potential for next year’s championship.
Dublin are away to the winners of the Carlow v NUIG clash in the Walsh Cup on January 31.
It is likely that Ryan will be deployed in the half-forward line, where his ball-winning capabilities could be used to offset the loss of Ross O’Carroll, who pledged his immediate inter-county future to the footballers recently.
3 DUBS STARS GAMES, Sunday, January 3, Fingallians, Hurling (2.0), Football (4.0).
– Conor McKeon