Dublin’s new hurling coach Anthony Cunningham is hopeful the Boys in Blue will push into hurling’s “top four” in the coming years.
Former Galway manager Cunningham has taken on a coaching role under new Dublin manager Pat Gilroy for 2018.
Cunningham has a superb pedigree, having guided Galway to their first Leinster title in 2012 and two All-Ireland finals.
Now, he’s expecting Dublin to make the step up to All-Ireland contenders over the coming years.
“For me, Dublin have the potential to go and break through to a top four team”, Cunningham told OffTheBall.com’s Will O’Callaghan on Now That's What I Call Sport earlier.
“It’s early days yet and the honeymoon is probably over. There’s gonna be tough days ahead but there’s ability there.
“I think Dublin- with the work that’s going on at underage level on the hurling side- it’s now getting up to the level that is there on the football side. Everybody saw Dublin’s Under 17 team this year was very skilful and that’s proof that the coaching is working.
“Definitely over the next few years, the produce coming through are very strong and will rival any county.
Cunningham emerged as a surprise potential appointment to Gilroy’s backroom team, when Gilroy was himself surprisingly mooted for the job in the autumn.
“In September/ October, there were moves afoot that there was going to be a new manager and Pat gave me a bell and asked me would I be interested in supporting the management team. For me- that was an easy question to answer.
“To get a chance to work with the Dublin players and Pat and his management team is a great honour.
“I’ve been very impressed with the management team. They’re able to coach, entice players, push players and that’s great experience to have.
“His (Gilroy’s) knowledge of hurling is really top class and that’s gonna bear fruits- we hope!
Also on today’s Now That's What I Call Sport, we paid tribute to 16-year old Shelbourne footballer Izzy Dezu, who passed away this week. We were also joined by Eamon Fennell and Pat Gilroy on the Gaelic Voices For Change campaign and Leinster’s Leo Cullen, following their win over the Exeter Chiefs at the RDS.