Conal Keaney doesn’t rule out return to football

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Updated: February 10, 2011

Former Dublin dual star Conal Keaney has not ruled out the possibility of playing football for Dublin in the future.

Keaney, who won five Leinster SFC titles with the capital’s football team, decided to commit to the Dublin hurlers at the start of this year, and will play in the Allianz National Hurling League for the first time in seven years against Waterford this Sunday.

“I think Pat Gilroy more or less said that the door is never closed to anyone,” said Keaney.

“At the moment I am just concentrating on the hurling and trying to get as much hurling in as I can, be it on my own or in training.

“It is all about getting the touch and trying to get it back and it will take a long time to get it back. I’m going to give it as good a go as I can to get it up to a level that I feel I should be at.

“You can never say never to anything. I am only 28. I am going to give this year a go and see how it goes. Hopefully it will be a good successful year for both teams.

“To be honest I had to do what I really wanted to do and I really actually do hope that (the) Dublin (footballers) do go on and progress from last year.

“Last year was very close against Cork and it is only small little things that make the difference. They have a couple of new lads in there this year that could make all the difference. I hope things work out well for them.”

Playing both games was not an option for Keaney this year despite the 28-year-old playing both football and hurling for his club Ballyboden St Enda’s.

“It crossed my mind alright, but it just wasn’t to be. I made the call to go with the hurling,” he said.

“There is no point in looking back now. I am just looking forward to Sunday. It just wouldn’t have been able to work really.

“The way teams are training now it is nearly full-time. I would have been caught between two stools I would have thought.”

Keaney added: “I’m a good bit away. I am only back a couple of weeks. I’ve really only played the Antrim game and the Galway game – but hurling has changed a good bit. It is a lot more physical.

“When I was playing it was all skill and you relied heavily on that. But now the football tackle is coming into it. You are getting hit from everywhere.

“You have to be a lot stronger and a lot fitter. You’re seeing that with a lot of the inter-county teams now, as they are a lot stronger and fitter now.”

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