Dublin’s senior hurling team has named their next manager and many fans are incredibly excited by the new appointment. Mattie Kenny, a Galway native, was chosen to take over from Pat Gilroy who stepped down in September. Kenny led his Cuala side to back-to-back All-Ireland club SHC titles in 2017 and 2018, which is an incredibly impressive feat. Dublin fans are hoping that he can replicate that success at the county level in hurling.
The race for the Dublin appointment came down to three men; Anthony Daly, Anthony Cunningham, and Kenny were the final three potential managers that the Dublin committee narrowed it down to. Dublin county has not won the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship since 2014 and Kenny will have a lot of weight on his shoulders to deliver the trophy to Dublin.
Watford man Humphrey Kelleher had this to say, “But Mattie Kenny has got the position on merit and hopefully now we can stop talking about new beginnings and instead build something. His success with them is unprecedented in terms of a Dublin club hurling team. Hopefully, he can bring that innovative approach to the Dublin set-up now. He appears to have good man-management skills and did deliver a huge amount of success with Cuala. But it is a completely different mindset going from club to county and I think the most important thing for Mattie will be to form a strong backroom team. I’m sure Mattie will assemble the strongest panel he can and knowing the Cuala players so well certainly won’t hurt. But he will have a good knowledge of what talent is out there in other clubs, having been involved in hurling in Dublin for the last few years.”
It will certainly be interesting to see if Kenny can take his success at the club level and translate it to the county level. Kenny will have a three-year contract with Dublin and a great chance to prove himself on the county level. All of his club experience will be of great use as he will be able to use a lot of the lessons that he learned in his time there.
Kenny will be officially confirmed as the manager at the next Dublin committee meeting. Kenny will want to get to work as soon as possible to make a huge difference next season and have a shot at the Liam MacCarthy Cup. There are huge expectations on this man’s shoulders as all of Dublin county will be expecting great results from Kenny.
When Ger Cunningham was the manager at Dublin, many of the county’s top players left and a few returned when Gilroy was the manager but there are still many hurlers that do not play for the county. Kenny will be looking to convince hurlers such as Mark Schutte to return to the county level and it could easily happen as Kenny just made the move to the county level. Kenny has a lot of relationships at the club level and could get some of the hurlers to join him at Dublin county.
Conal Keaney is a wiley old veteran and his services are extremely important for Dublin and their competitiveness. He still has a lot to offer the team even though he is in the later part of his career. Kenny needs to convince these veterans to stay on the team to gather buy-in from the younger players and continue to grow the team.