Dublin’s Dean Rock retires from inter-country career


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Dublin county footballer Dean Rock announced his retirement from inter-county football on Tuesday after playing at senior level since 2012.

According to the 33-year-old forward, the time has come for him to hang his Blue jersey and end his career with the Dublin senior football team.

“The last 16 years playing for Dublin GAA would not have been possible without the care and support of so many,” said Rock.

“I would like to thank the Dublin county board staff, coaches and officials for all they do and all they have done for me throughout the years.”

Rock also thanked his family and Dublin colleagues for their love and support throughout his career. At the announcement’s end, Rock wished for the team’s best performance in the upcoming seasons.

Rock said his success during his career with Dublin was more than he had initially hoped for. During his ten-year-long tenure with Dublin, Rock won eight All-Ireland Senior Football Championships.

“I’ve been very fortunate to win eight All-Ireland Senior Football Championships, and it’s something that when you start off your career if you win one, you’re extremely happy,” said Rock in an interview with RTÉ’s Six One News.

Rock first hinted at his retirement following Dublin’s victory in the 2023 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final. During the post-match interview, Rock said he had his fill with Dublin and looked forward to entrusting the team to younger players like Evan Comerford, Seán Bugler and Lee Gannon.

Throughout his career, Rock achieved 12 Leinster, eight All-Irelands, six NFL and three All-Stars titles with 132 apps and 24-591 scores at retirement.

Rock’s life and career

Rock was born into a family with long ties to Gaelic football. His father, Barney Rock, is a former Dublin right-half forward who won four Leinster titles and one All-Irelands title.

In contrast to his eventual illustrious career, Rock was dropped from the Dublin senior panel in 2012. Despite his initial dejection after the dropout, he eventually decided to train hard under Ballymun Kickhams manager Paul Curran, leading to him winning the Ballymun’s county senior championship that year.

Following his county-level victory, former Dublin senior manager Jim Gavin recalled Rock back to the team. Even so, Rock only entered his first league with Dublin in early 2015 since his All-Ireland under-21 final match in 2010.

During his active years, Rock exhibited a tendency toward perfectionism when it came to pre-match preparation and free-kick practice. As a result, he became one of the most high-performing players in terms of free kicks.

After sweeping across All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Finals from 2016 to 2018, Rock claimed notable achievements in the 2019 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final. During the championship, his fifth point from the final match and his 14 Dublin goals elevated him to surpass Bernard Brogan the Second as one of Dublin’s highest scorers.

However, Rock truly peaked during the 2020 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final, securing a record-breaking fastest goal in championship history.

Rock married Dublin ladies footballer Niamh McEvoy in 2018. Their first child, Sadie, was born in 2022.

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