New Dublin hurling manager Pat Gilroy has named a youthful looking starting XV for his side’s opening National League fixture against Offaly on Saturday night at Croke Park.
The clash is the curtain-raiser in a double-header at Croker on Saturday night, throwing in at 5pm whereas the county’s footballers meet Kildare at 7pm.
The new-look starting XV named by Gilroy will see nine debutants at this level. Bill O’Carroll, Cian Hendricken, Cian McBride, Tomás Connolly, Fergal Whitely, Ronan Smith, Alan Moore, Paul Winters and Fionn Ó Riain Broin all make their league debut for the capital.
Noticeable is the absence of the returning trio of Danny Sutcliffe, Conal Keaney and Joey Boland. Upon hearing the news that each of those players are making a comeback to the fray this year under Gilroy, having been an integral part of the 2013 Leinster Championship-winning team, Dublin hurling fans would have been filled with excitement.
It appears as though the new boss will be using the forthcoming Division 1B campaign as an experimental exercise and will unleash the aforementioned returning trio as the league progresses, all the while giving the young players seeking to breakthrough sufficient opportunity.
Team captain for 2018 Liam Rushe is also not named on the starting XV for Saturday night’s encounter.
Here is the team named to take on Offaly in full:
1. Alan Nolan
2. Paddy Smyth
3. Bill O’Carroll
4. Cian Hendricken
5. Shane Barrett
6. Cian McBride
7. Chris Crummey
8. Johnny McCaffrey
9. Tomas Connolly
10. Donal Burke
11. Fergal Whitely
12. Ronan Smith
13. Alan Moore
14. Paul Winters
15. Fionn Ó Riain Broin.
— Dublin GAA (@DubGAAOfficial) January 26, 2018