Highly regarded Dublin hurler Danny Sutcliffe was downplaying his return to the county senior hurling panel over the weekend in Boston, writes Michael Moynihan.
Sutcliffe dropped out for the last two seasons but was invited back by new Dublin boss Pat Gilroy, with the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic Super 11s his reintroduction to the fold.
“It’s only a training panel, that’s all I’ve been asked in on. I’ve to prove myself now more than anything. I wouldn’t have come back if I didn’t think I had a chance,” he said, adding that “the talent is better now than when I was coming through”.
Sutcliffe said he would have stepped down from the county panel “regardless” two years ago, as he had planned to travel to the US to work.
“I went on my own accord. I wouldn’t second-guess myself over whether it was hurling or anything like that.
“People forget hurling is only a hobby. I was going to America no matter what. You only have the window of one year after you graduate to do it. So I was going regardless.
“Obviously I enjoyed myself as well. I’ve no regrets. Luckily I’ve got a second chance now to come back in. I’m just in training like the rest of the lads, trying to make the cut for January.
“I was sitting in work in New York when I heard Pat got the job. I still had a few months left on my visa, so I didn’t think any more of it...
“It’s great that Pat has been that side of the fence and now we’re consuming that. I was a spectator when he managed the footballers, so I’m excited that he’s taking the time to manage the hurlers.
“I know from being the other side of the line, he’s (Anthony Cunningham, Gilroy’s coach) a passionate man. He really gets behind the group that’s involved. I know he’ll back us to the hilt.”
This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.