ANTHONY DALY has hit out at the perception of his team as “robotic” and insists they have enough natural talent to claim the county’s first Leinster title in 50 years.
By John Fogarty
Much has been made of the physical edge Dublin have brought to their game but speaking at the Guinness Greats launch yesterday, the Clarecastle man was keen to extol the skills of his players.
“I hear so many fellas talking about movement and all these things but Jesus, move to the ball is the first thing isn’t it? Move to the feckin’ ball, whether it’s high or low you’ve to go to the ball.
“The ultimate thing we are trying to do is get to the ball first and have a bit of confidence in ourselves then to play with it because we have good hurlers even though there are some doubts still out there about us, that we are robotic.
“I think we have good hurlers and lots of natural hurlers and I like to think when they get it they are able to use it and play with it and take their scores and we’ve been putting up decent scores.”
With Kilkenny looking to make amends for May’s league final defeat to Dublin, Daly warned his players to expect pain both during and after the game.
“It will be hard-hitting and tough, but hopefully the minds are getting the bodies ready to hurt and they have to be ready to hurt on a day like this.
“You are going to be sore after any Leinster championship match or Munster championship match, and more so a Leinster final or a Munster final.”
However, Daly seemed annoyed when it was put to him Dublin may have reawakened Kilkenny’s hunger when they outclassed them in their 12-point Division One final win.
“Are ye more afraid of it than we are? I haven’t seen anyone killed on a hurling field yet and sure if they beat us they beat us.
“I couldn’t feel too much worse than I did after Antrim beat us last year anyway and that’s how I am looking at it. We’ll still have to get ourselves ready for a quarter-final if we are beaten and a massive chance to get into an All-Ireland semi-final and if I told ye at the start of the year we are going to be in the last four after winning the Walsh Cup and the national league you’d say you are in your a***. In that sense, what’s to be afraid of?”
Unlike in the Leinster semi-final against Wexford, Daly doesn’t expect the Kilkenny full-back line to have another off-day.
“As sure as night follows day, Jackie Tyrrell will have a stormer,” he maintained. “That’s the way it works, isn’t it? When you see a bit of vulnerability in any lad coming up to a big game, he comes out and has his best game.”
Daly believes he possesses a faster team than Kilkenny but that only counts for so much. “I’d say pound for pound if our 15 and their 15 raced the length of Croke Park, more of our lads would get to the finishing line first.
“But it’s all about that white thing [sliotar], and if you’re running you have to have that white thing in your hand. We have to front up and win primary possession first.”
Meanwhile, Daly has hit out at the Dublin nightclub which claimed the hurlers would be guests of honour following Sunday’s Leinster final.
“It’s probably typical for Dublin. We’re getting a small taste of what the footballers have had to put up with for the last 20 years.
“I was hurling with Clare for years and we often went for a drink and nobody ever tried to take advantage.”
This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, July 01, 2011
Article Source: Examiner.ie