‘The age issue is massively overblown in GAA’ – Liam Rushe

DUBLIN ARE EXPECTED to appoint their third manager in as many years later this week, with Anthony Daly and Mattie Kenny believed to be in a two-horse race for the position. 

Kilmacud Crokes manager Anthony Daly.

Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Kilmacud Crokes’ Dublin SHC final defeat to Ballyboden St Enda’s on Sunday has freed up Daly’s schedule to take up the county job for a second time. 

There have been whispers around the capital in recent days that the Clare native has moved into pole position, but Kenny and Anthony Cunningham have also been heavily linked to the role.

Liam Rushe, who will be a key player for whoever is appointed, says he’s open to a second stint under Daly.

“We parted on good terms, I really enjoyed my time with Dalo,” Rushe said yesterday in Croke Park at the launch of Seoladh Mór Gaeilge Chumann Lúthchleas Gael.

“That’s obviously not my decision to make, the county board have to make it. The candidates being put forward at the moment all have good pedigree so I’ll be happy to work with any of them.

Source: officialgaa/YouTube

“I think everyone knows it has been narrowed down to a few candidates and I think there is an announcement impending this week so looking forward to hearing (the news).

“It was later than this last year I think when Pat got the job. Get it done and dusted now the (club) championship is done. There are no more roadblocks. The candidates that are there are well versed in Dublin hurling anyway so it’s not like they will be coming in cold”.

36-year-old Conal Keaney scored four from play and controlled the game as Ballyboden defeated Daly’s Kilmacud in the county final at the weekend. Rushe is hopeful the veteran will be back in the Dublin colours next season.

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“He was flying, wasn’t he? He really looks after himself and he’s reaping the reward. He’s absolutely flying. I’ve been onto him already, hopefully he commits for next year and carries the form he displayed there into next year. Just put him on ice now for six months.

“The Monday after we got knocked out I was onto him. He was such an integral figure there this year and gave massive leadership, so worth keeping it all together.

“I think he will. I think he’s enjoying it, that’s the main thing. He has a bit of flexibility in his work life as well which always helps. That’s the main reason an awful lot of people step away. So I think if things keep going as they are hopefully he’ll commit.

“I think the age issue is massively overblown in GAA, absolutely massively. Managed correctly… it seems very strange that GAA players are retiring earlier and earlier and professional players are retiring later and later.

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Conal Keaney during the drawn Dublin SHC final.

Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

“So it’s basically proven now. There literally isn’t a reason you should slow down until your early 30s. Lads are worn out, being overtrained or they’re under-recovered and things like that but Keaney has gotten it right.

“I don’t see a reason why more people shouldn’t play into that age bar injury cutting them short. So many are falling out now because… it’s work a lot of the time. They can’t commit, it’s not physical limitations.”

Rushe had a busy weekend himself, completing the Dublin marathon in a time of 3 hours 49 minutes with just four weeks training behind him.

“It went anyway, that was the important thing. I wanted to get under four (hours), I got 3.49 so I’ll take that. I’m having trouble with stairs now at the moment!

“I went in with a bit of a sore throat, now I can barely speak. That’s what it does to you. I always had it on the bucket list.

“My hand is actually broken, I broke it in a league game there a few weeks ago, seven or eight weeks ago and I kind of just decided then to do it. It was grand, I had to borrow someone else’s number because it was obviously sold out. I managed to get hold of their number and gave it a lash.

Dublin star Liam Rushe.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“I didn’t find it that bad. I think I paced it OK. I’m all right for…for a big unit, I’m all right for slogging! I never found that that hard. The actual slow aerobic stuff isn’t that hard.

“Didn’t hit a wall. Ran past all the wall signs. They were good craic actually. I kicked for home, too early though. I got to UCD, thought it was flat thinking, ‘Away we go.’ I was following the 3.50 lads the whole way.

“Got ahead of them. Kicked up the hill. Got cramp in the hammer, thought: ‘Aw shite’. Straightened out the leg – got cramp in the quad on the same leg. So I was literally…I don’t know what I looked like. I had to stop. The lads ran by me. Ah, shook it off and managed to close it in literally five seconds just ahead of them.”

“It’s strange all right, yeah. The crowd is massive, I have to say. The girlfriend was there around the 25th mile, helped me kick on. The family were there eight or nine miles in. Different people were dotted in. It makes a massive difference.

“I did four weeks training. So I did a 10 mile run and a week later, a 13 mile run. Then one 17 and one 21. Then just took two weeks off because I tried to do more but I was cripped. So I just left it. Yeah, it was okay.”

Does he plan on running it again down the line?

“Ah, I don’t know, I might in the future, I definitely won’t be doing it next year. If I was doing it again I would like to take it seriously and do a good three or four month run in to see what you could actually get. Things like that raising money is cool.”

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