It is only now that he has stepped away from the set-up that Conal Keaney is paying full attention to the commentary surrounding Dublin hurling and he is not a fan of their portrayal.
The Ballyboden St Enda’s man announced his retirement from the inter-county scene earlier this year and watched from afar as Dublin recorded an impressive win over Galway on Saturday to reach the Leinster Final.
While many were complimentary of their four-point win over the 2017 All Ireland champions, Keaney believes that narrative will change when Mattie Kenny’s side face Leinster in the provincial decider on July 17.
He admits that the attitude towards their hurling team is “frustrating”.
“I don’t think it bothers the squad, that kind of talk. It never bothers them. But on the outside as a supporter, yeah I think it’s frustrating that people don’t give Dublin the credit they deserve.
“If that was a Tipperary and Galway game and Tipperary beat Galway as Dublin did, everyone would be raving about Tipperary and putting them up there in the top two or three to go a long way in the competition but when it’s Dublin it’s ‘Oh they did well but Galway missed a lot, they won’t win the next day’. That kind of an attitude. I think you can use all that.
“Eventually that all has to turn and it has to change. I agree that only comes when you become a successful team and I hope this team does that. It’s been happening a load of times with that kind of an attitude towards Dublin and it’s the same whether it’s the pundits on the Sunday Game or whatever, coming out with the lazy stuff that there’s no marquee forwards in Dublin or we’ve no wrists in Dublin or whatever. At some stage you need to lay down a marker and stop all that nonsense talk.”
Keaney was involved in 2013 when the Dubs ended a 52-year wait for the Leinster crown with a historic victory over Galway. However, he knows more than most that success and recognition are fleeting as the side were well beaten in the decider the following year.
As significant as it is for Dublin to make the final, Keaney maintains it will count for nothing if they do not win.
“It’s great to get to a Leinster Final but ultimately if you don’t win it, it doesn’t mean anything.
“You forget how many Leinster Finals you were in if you lose them, it doesn’t make a difference.
“It’s all about winning and this team obviously want to stamp their authority, this is a new Dublin team coming. They want that bit of success. If you don’t win in the finals, you’re just forgotten about again, you’re gone back into the pack with everyone else. So they want to stamp and make sure they win on the weekend and become this new and exciting, full of energy Dublin team that we’ve seen the last couple of weekends.”
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