Dublin don’t have any hidden gems, says Liam Rushe

Liam Rushe has revealed he took Dónal Óg Cusack to task about his claim last year that Dublin have failed to find new players.

Cusack stated there were more talent in the capital than what was being seen in the panel but new manager Ger Cunningham hasn’t unearthed significantly more than his predecessor Anthony Daly.

Rushe confronted Cusack about his argument: “Dónal Óg has been going on about it and I met him and asked him ‘Who are these players you are talking about?’

“He just said ‘Ah, they are out there.’ He doesn’t know any players — there are no players!

“The players we have brought in have done very well. People have been raving about the likes of Niall McMorrow and Ben Quinn. Daire Plunkett is knocking about.

“There are players that have been in before and been on minor or U21 teams. So there are no diamonds in the rough we haven’t spotted yet.”

Rushe is likely to start at centre-forward against Galway on Sunday, relieved to have moved away from full-forward where he began the year.

“I was like a fish out of water at the start. I’m definitely more comfortable in the half-forward line. The full-forward line is an awkward position to play. You have to be so patient and so economical with the ball or you’ll be getting the fishing rod early on.

“You have to be mentally strong because if you lose a ball you mighn’t see it for six or seven minutes.”

The 24-year-old believes there is a fear factor attached to the upcoming Leinster quarter-final given the number of strong teams that will await in the backdoor. “The hurling qualifiers are nearly becoming as bad as the football, especially when you see the runs that some teams get on, like Clare in 2013 and Wexford last year.

“You don’t want to come up against a team that has had a couple of games, especially when you’re on a downer. So there probably is that extra incentive to win now.

“It’s win-at-all-costs. If you lose, you obviously do reset. But then it is like a different championship because you’re going to be playing every week or every couple of weeks.

“It does give you a serious opportunity to build momentum. The style of it is probably what players prefer. It’s a game every week or every two weeks.”


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