Jerome O’Connell talks to Seamus Hickey who now finds himself as one of Limerick’s elder statesmen.
AT just 25 years of age, Seamus Hickey is the third most experienced member of John Allen’s Limerick senior hurling panel.
It’s a fact not lost on the Murroe-Boher man.
“I have been feeling it,” laughed Hickey.
“Different people will go about things differently but I have really changed that much from when I came in first. The way it is now there are 18/19 year olds that can be just as vocal in the dressing room,” said Hickey of his elder status on the panel
“I guess it’s six years since I was young!” he laughed.
A member of the Limerick minor panel that reached the 2005 All-Ireland minor final, Hickey was immediately brought into the senior set-up and made his championship debut in 2006.
Ireland Young Hurler of the Year in 2007 Hickey quickly became one of the first names on the Limerick team-sheet.
However, by his own admissions all has not gone according to plan in recent times.
“As the years past by you realise that opportunities go by so quickly. If you look back to last year and games were decided by a bounce of a ball and you just got to realise that you have to take some games and win them,” outlined Hickey, who is in the final year of his PhD studies in UL.
“I haven’t’ had the best run of it for the last couple of years,” he admits.
“It wasn’t for a lack of effort. Last year I was looking forward to a productive year but I just got so many injuries. Physiologically it was a horrible year. I had been on the internship, which also broke up the year,” he outlined.
Back to full fitness, Hickey is refreshed and ready for road.
“This year has been a gift so far. To be able to do my recovery at the end of last year and take that into pre-season has been great - it’s a new beginning.”
And, it’s a new beginning that could see the former defender fill the No11 jersey.
“I have been shifted around a bit in the last few years and whether that has been good or bad I don’t know,” he outlines.
Management have already spoken to Hickey about his thoughts on filling the centre forward role.
“It’s like every year its you to yourself to put down a marker. I’m working harder than ever and hopefully I cant make a difference up there,” he explained.
“I like centre forward. I don’t have the No11 spot but I’m getting a chance to show that I am worth my place,” he said.
Hickey maintains that there is not pressure to secure promotion.
“Promotion is of course important but what is more important is to get a winning mentality,” said Hickey, who is now deployed at centre forward.
“I see promotion as a by-product of winning matches and we want to set out to win every game we play,” said the Murroe-Boher man.
“It is so important to get into a winning pattern. To talk about promotion as a must, you forego that you have got to win all games that are put in front of you,” outlined Hickey.