Stakelum New Dublin Under 21 Manager

Dublin senior hurling selector, Richie Stakelum has been appointed Dublin under-21 manager for next season. The former Tipperary hurler heads a management ticket which will, in effect, see the senior management also overseeing the U21s in 2010.

Originally from Borris-Ileigh, Stakelum won a Munster U21 medal with his native Tipp in 1984 and went on to captain them to Munster SHC glory three years later. Having moved to Dublin during the 1990s, Stakelum brought Kilmacud Crokes minor hurlers to a county championship in 2007 and was named as part of Daly's backroom team last year along with Vincent Teehan and Ciarán Hetherton. Stakelum takes over from former Antrim and Dublin senior hurler Ciarán Barr, who led to the side to defeat in the Leinster final to Kilkenny in Parnell Park this year having beaten Kildare and Wexford in the quarter-final and semi respectively. However, senior boss Daly subsequently requested a more hands-on role for the senior management in next year's U21 side, with as many as ten of his senior squad also eligible for the grade. Senior starters David Treacy, Liam Rushe and Oisín Gough will all be U21 again next year and Daly and his management team have established an 'academy' panel featuring the best players at that age group in the county who are currently engaged in pre-season strength and conditioning programmes.

Dublin have a tough job of work ahead of them for next season, with the Leinster draw pairing Dublin with the winners of the Kilkenny v Offaly quarter-final in an away tie on June 23. The Dublin hurlers get their season underway when they face the Evening Herald Dubs Stars in Fingallians (Swords) on Sunday, January 3 (2pm) Meanwhile, the regional team experiment in the Dublin senior hurling championship has ended. The Dublin Hurling Review Committee made a recommendation to the county committee to end the regional team's involvement in the competition, after their involvement for the past three seasons. Next year's Dublin senior hurling championship 'A' will comprise of two groups of six teams, with the top four in both groups qualifying for a quarter-final and the bottom two entering a relegation play-off. The four regional teams teams, which were comprised of players from senior 'B', intermediate and junior clubs in four geographical areas in Dublin, competed in the senior championship but made little impact. The Hurling Review Committee explained to delegates that the regional team's involvement in the senior hurling championship was cutting across too many intermediate and junior club fixtures and that the clubs themselves were reluctant to release players at a stage in the year when they were heavily involved in their own competitions. Dublin CEO John Costello had already flagged the end of the experiment in his annual convention report. 'Is four regional teams too many?,' he asked. 'Are the clubs genuine in their support of the regional units?

Are players truly interested in playing for their region? Of the 12 games that the four regional teams (three games each for North East, North West, South West, South East) played they suffered 11 defeats and the draw achieved by Dublin North West - when drawing with Cuala - was the only league point gained by one of the regional teams in the round-robin section of the 'A' championship.' 'Granted the South West team's games were competitive but add into the mix the fact that some of the defeats suffered by the regional teams were by significant margins (close to or in excess of 20 points on three occasions) and it does not paint the brightest picture.'