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08th Dec 2016

Dublin hurling’s latest scoring sensation unlikely to play for Dublin hurlers in 2017

Such a shame

Patrick McCarry

There will be a time in the not too distant future when the last dual inter-county player in the country finally steps back from one sporting pursuit.

It was heartening to see Podge Collins give it a whirl for Clare in both hurling and football codes, earlier this year, but two back-door campaigns put a huge squeeze on him. In 2017, he has committed himself to the hurlers.

Dublin hurling supporters would have been forgiven if Con O’Callaghan’s 1-4 for Cuala, against O’Loughlin Gaels in the Leinster final, got them far too excited. This was the same O’Callaghan that bagged 4-3 in their Leinster SHC quarter final victory over Laois outfit Borris-Kilcotton.

He has 6-10 in the championship, so far, and Derry’s Slaughtneil are in his sights.

Con O'Callaghan signs autographs for supporters 6/11/2016

Given the strife the Dubs senior panel is going through – with talk of in-fighting and players being ostracised – O’Callaghan offered a tantalising glimpse of exciting forward play.

That being said, there is a greater chance O’Callaghan will play a support role for Dublin’s footballers next year and side-step inter-county hurling completely.

Mark Schutte, Dublin hurler and Cuala teammate of O’Callaghan, feels the 21-year-old has his sights firmly set on breaking into Jim Gavin’s starting 15. Schutte told The GAA Hour:

“To be honest, I have been in his ear before but he is a motivated individual and he really wants to give the football a good go. He had a great year with the Dublin U21 footballers and is probably looking to push on with the seniors next year.

“Unfortunately for us, I don’t think we’ll be seeing him with the Dublin hurlers jersey next season.”

Schutte added, “Each to their own. I fully respect those lads [that chose football]; they are picking up All-Ireland medals. It is probably up to us as a hurling squad to push on. 

“If we start competing at that level, we’ll probably motivate younger lads coming out of minors – that if we have hurling and football teams competing for All-Irelands, they might opt for the hurlers.”

With the likes of Schutte, David Treacy and O’Callaghan doing the job for Cuala, Dublin club hurling could yet receive a massive, much-needed boost.

Diarmuid Connolly makes his long overdue GAA Hour debut and Colm Parkinson talks to Cuala and Dublin hurler Mark Schutte.

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