"It was the right thing for me to do at the time I think to leave it at that stage. I didn't see myself coming back playing with Dublin really."
Yet two years after retiring from inter-county duty with the Dublin senior hurlers, Conal Keaney is back in the fold as new manager Pat Gilroy - his old Dublin football boss - begins to make his mark.
Conal Keaney joined Joe for a chat as the Leinster senior hurling championship closes in and explained why he has chosen to come out of inter-county retirement at the age of 35.
"Pat did ring me in advance and look, I thought about it for a long while and I talked to people that I probably would trust and value their opinion and be honest," said the Ballyboden St Enda's club man.
"A few things had to be in order. Obviously I had to make sure home life was okay and I got the OK to go back then because if she stopped me from doing it, I wouldn't be overly happy at home and I can never sit easy at home. It's not like I can go home and sit and watch television for the evening because I just hate doing that. So I have to stay busy."
Keaney also spoke about what Gilroy has brought to the senior hurling setup.
"I suppose he is very thorough in everything that he does. He doesn't expect miracles. It's building blocks all the time," he said.
"So they're trying to make progress but make progress the right way, that it's not like a big jump forward and then a couple of steps back. It's always gradually, gradually, gradually and learning as you go and understanding what you're supposed to be doing and everyone understanding it.
"What Dublin really need is certain guidelines and gameplans that every team has but not to go away from that because it probably showed in the league. Even against Tipperary this year, we had a certain standard and guidelines that we went through. Things were going really well and then we just stopped it and then Tipperary just come back at you and then we get beaten."
Dublin hurler Conal Keaney was speaking as he relaunches his painting and decorating business Wigoders.