Jerome O’Connell rates the Limerick senior hurling clubs from 1-16 but he’ll be updating the ratings as the season goes on. Remember, your club can fall as well as rise
1. Na Piarsaigh
LAST SEASON: County senior hurling champions for the first time. Throw in the All-County League and Munster club title for good measure.
MANAGEMENT: Sean Stack (manager), Paul Beary (trainer), Donal Hartnett, PJ Breen (selectors)
KEY PLAYER: Shane Dowling – appeared to drag his side through some games single handed last season and his frees and ball winning ability is key.
ONE TO WATCH: Niall Buckley - the U-21 winning captain can play anywhere across the full back line or defence and could be the next young gun to break through.,
COMINGS AND GOINGS: There is no confirmation of retirements but Shane O’Neill and Damien Quigley are yet to return to training after last year’s extended season. Work commitments mean Cathal King is absent, while Kieran Breen is also ruled out this weekend.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Damien Quigley: no team would refuse a natural scorer and certainly one who never left the club down.
LAST SEASON: Lost to Patrickswell in the quarter final as they defended their title.
MANAGEMENT: Tony Considine (manager), Diarmuid Mullins (coach), James Connery, Gavin O’Sullivan (selectors).
CAPTAIN: Paudie O’Brien
KEY PLAYER: Gavin O’Mahony - sweeps up everything across their half back line and has forged a great understanding with deliveries into attack for Graeme Mulcahy and others.
ONE TO WATCH: Robert Egan - outstanding for the club’s junior side last season and captain of the Limerick U-21 team this year. An option in half back line or midfield.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Andrew O’Shaughnessy is likely to miss the entire season due to work commitments abroad. Paddy Connery has retired after a long career.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Mike Houlihan: If there is a physical edge missing to the current side, Houla would fill that void.
LAST SEASON: Lost to Ahane after a replay when forced to line out without key players from Effin.
MANAGEMENT: Fintan Leahy (manager), Pat Heffernan, Ger Whelan (Bruff).
CAPTAIN: Brian Moloney
KEY PLAYER: Stephen Walsh - hectic times for Walsh with IHC with Glenroe, SFC with Ballylanders and his inter-county demands. Also key to the southern amalgamation.
ONE TO WATCH: Davd Reidy - the Dromin-Athlacca youngster could feature at wing back or in attack.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Effin quartet, Nickie and Thomas Quaid, John Dillon and Damien Moloney will key in recent years and not available. The only Bruff player to commit to the southern divisional panel is Paddy O’Leary, who could fill either of the central attacking positions.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Emmets went so close to senior glory back in 1963 and one to borrow from that line-up could be Eamonn Rea to bolster their defence.
LAST SEASON: Surprised many with their progress to the final, where they lost to Na Piarsaigh.
MANAGEMENT: John Meskell (manager), Liam Doyle (coach), Phelim Mackem (trainer).
CAPTAIN: Johnny Meskell
KEY PLAYER: Niall Moran - at centre back, midfield or attack Moran from frees and play supplies a large percentage of their scores.
ONE TO WATCH: Richie Ryan - has been a play of promise in recent years and his form in U-21 team suggests an impact this year at senior level.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Alan Doherty has emigrated while Brian Healy and Ollie Moran have both retired. All three started the county final last year.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Mick Mackey: No explanation needed. Winner of 15 county senior hurling championships and just the charismatic figure they need for a young team.
LAST SEASON: Lost to Ahane in the quarter-final
MANAGEMENT: Ger O’Loughlin (manager), Anthony Howard, PJ Kinevane (selectors), Dan Sheehan (liaison officer)
KEY PLAYER: Declan Hannon - a fully fit Hannon is vital to any charge they could make
ONE TO WATCH: Davd Reidy - the Dromin-Athlacca youngster could feature at wing back.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Andrew and Stephen O’Connell are both gone abroad as is attacker Liam Costelloe.
Another gone is Mike Noonan, who transferred to Kilimo-Pallaskenry. And, all thats on top of the retirement of Mark Foley.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Mike Alfred - disappointment may have been his lot on more than one occasion but his influence could be just what’s needed as they mould a new team.
LAST SEASON: Lost to Na Piarsaigh in the semi-final.
MANAGEMENT: Brian Lohan (manager), Cairbre O’Cearallain (strength and conditioning), Tom O’Brien, Declan O’Grady, Anthony Carmody (selectors).
CAPTAIN: Eoin Foley
KEY PLAYER: James Mann - with such a youthful side, the centre back role will be key and Mann can mature into that position.
ONE TO WATCH: Kevin O’Brien - made some senior appearances last year and the county minor can cause defences trouble this year.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Pat Howard, formerly Old Christians, joined this season and could force his way into the starting team.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Richie Bennis: This is the club’s longest period without a Limerick SHC since 1965. Bennis was there is ‘65 and won another nine after that.
LAST SEASON: Just failed to get out of their group when drawing with Ahane in final game and lost out on scoring average.
MANAGEMENT: Ger Hegarty (manager), Sean O’Neill, Michael John O’Brien (selectors).
KEY PLAYER: Seamus Hickey - can be inspirational on his day and now appears to have matured as a centre back.
ONE TO WATCH: Mikey Ryan - the U-21 player has pace to space and his time with the county senior panel should aid development as a top class attacker.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Paudie McNamara is still in Australia, while long serving full back Brian Nolan is out injured since the start of the year.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Sean O’Neill: Current side have great skill but often lack a primary ball winner in the middle.
LAST SEASON: Lost to Na Piarsaigh in the quarter-finals
MANAGEMENT: Niall Maher (manager), Anthony O’Brien (coach), Gerry O’Donoghue (trainer), James O’Brien, Gedie Thompson (selectors).
CAPTAIN: Roger Maher
KEY PLAYER: Niall Maher - member of Limerick senior hurling player and will hope to bring that stature into play with scores aplenty.
ONE TO WATCH: Pat Ryan - one of their county minors that may have to wait another season but is an attacker than can score
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Lucky to start the year with all that finished last year.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Willie Moore: Never won a Limerick SHC with Doon but did win a Cork SHC with UCC and would bring the leadership they need.
LAST SEASON: Not a year to remember as they failed to advance from the group stages and didn’t sparkle in the county cup.
MANAGEMENT: Sean Treacy (coach), Mattie Daly, Alan Sheerin, Liam Ryan (management team).
CAPTAIN: Thomas Carmody
KEY PLAYER: Stephen Lucey - at full back or centre back remains key to the club side and will no doubt love to prove his worth on the hurling field.
ONE TO WATCH: Eoin O’Farrell is their representative on the county minor panel and is a forward that can score..
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Lucky to have all on board and are utilised some who impressed with their junior side last season as well as more youngsters.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Garrett Howard: Five All-Ireland senior titles demonstrates the winning mentality needed for a side so close to the break through.
LAST SEASON: Failed to progress from group and then had to battle clear of relegation.
MANAGEMENT: Pat Bennett (manager), Eddie Jackman (trainer), Hugh Hogan, Seamie O’Connell (selectors)
KEY PLAYER: James Vincent O’Brien - continues to be the one to make the side click. Big strong and can score.
ONE TO WATCH: Kieran O’Dea - the minor player could feature anywhere from midfeld forward and could even stepped up to the free-taking duties.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Jimmy O’Dea will miss out as he is in Australia. Tommy O’Brien and Michael Lane are both in England but are to return for matches.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Steve McDonogh - have struggled to find a direct replacement for McDonogh in the pivotal centre back position and thats not to mention his leadership qualities.
LAST SEASON: Quarter-finals in 2010 year but failed to build on that last season and didn’t progress to knockout stages.
MANAGEMENT: Gerry O’Donovan (manager), Brian Kennedy (trainer), John O’Kelly (selector).
CAPTAIN: Denis O’Connor.
KEY PLAYER: Donal O’Grady - when Dodge inspires others follow. Midfield is his most influential position for the club.
ONE TO WATCH: David Condron - one of just two dual players at county minor level this season. A welcome addition to the attack or perhaps midfield of the men in black and green.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: In a most unusual position in that they have a key quartet back in their plans that missed last year - Eoin Chawke, Donagh McCarthy, Bart Hanley and Kevin O’Connor. Micheal Clancy is absent though.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Seamus Stapleton: Not too far back but how many times did Stapleton rescue his club on more than one occasion with vital scores and leadership.
12. South Liberties
LAST SEASON: Went one better than the previous year when defeating Garryspillane to win the County Cup.
MANAGEMENT: Sean Hehir (manager), Michael O’Brien, Michael Butler, Sean Godfrey (selectors)
CAPTAIN: Shane O’Neill
KEY PLAYER: Shane O’Neill - hugely inspirational for the club and it was club form last season that returned him to the inter-county scene.
ONE TO WATCH: Thomas Ryan - now that the U-21 player is on the inter-county panel all will watch his progress with interest.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Long serving Albert Shanahan transferred to Bruff. Shane Garry and Rory O’Neill are both based abroad but are to return from Spain and Scotland for matches.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Eamonn Grimes - captained the club to end their 82 year county championship famine in 1972 and his leadership and dynamic style around midfield would be key.
LAST SEASON: They were the shock quarter-finals in a great first year back senior. Lost to Emmets in that quarter-final.
MANAGEMENT: Liam Garvey (manager), Declan Murphy, Brian Deegan (selectors), Liam Reale (trainer).
CAPTAIN: Mike Fitzgerald
KEY PLAYER: Mark Deegan - maturing into a key player for the club and lands long range frees as an extra boost.
ONE TO WATCH: Darragh O’Sullivan - full back on the U-21 team Kilfrush Gaels and brings much needed physicality to the side.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Donie Reale won’t be involved as he remains in London. Brendan O’Donghue is in Germany, while Conor Wallace is in the US. Sean Deegan adds to the absentees with a hand injury.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Jimmy Carroll: someone to dominate the middle third and inspire those around him with his swashbuckling style.
LAST SEASON: They were semi-finalists in 2010 but had to fight off relegation last season.
MANAGEMENT: Val Murnane (coach), Michael Walsh, John Leo, Michael Ryan, Paudie Madden (selectors).
CAPTAIN: Ger O’Shea
KEY PLAYER: Patrick Kirby - time after time he comes up trumps for The All-Blacks with vital goals and frees.
ONE TO WATCH: Kieran Cleary - midfield for the great minor win over Cork last week.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Good news if that Padraic Barron is back after missing last year injured while Liam O’Shea is on the comeback trail.
Nigel Finch and Patrick McNamara are carrying knocks but could recover to start.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Anthony Kirby: centre back when they won county junior championship of ‘91 and intermediate title of 2001 and the kind of dominate player they need.
LAST SEASON: Getting to the County Cup final was a break from the relegation battles of the previous years.
MANAGEMENT: Anthony O’Brien (manager), Michael O’Donnell, John Joe O’Reilly, Jim Dooley (selectors).
CAPTAIN: Donie Ryan
KEY PLAYER: James Ryan - tireless worker and won’t let those around him slack when the going get tough.
ONE TO WATCH: Danny Hayes - was a key figure in the Kilfrush Gaels U-21 side and can add much needed scoring power.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Long serving goalkeeper Darren Hayes has retired.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Ray Sampson: The Bouncers appear short of scoring power and Sampson often came up with vital scores for club and county.
Last season: What a year as they came straight from the junior ranks to win the intermediate championship.
MANAGEMENT: Ger Power (manager), Peter Finn (coach), Denis O’Donovan, Jim Byrnes (selectors).
CAPTAIN: Nickie Quaid
KEY PLAYER: Nickie Quaid - the county goalkeeper was almost unbeatable at centre back for the club and will need a repeat performance.
ONE TO WATCH: Timmy Rea - in and out of the team last season and can be a vital score getter this season.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Michael Rea is away in Alaska until September, while Pierce O’Kelly and Adrian Barrett are both in Australia.
PLAYER MOST DESIRED FROM THE PAST: Conor O’Donovan: It was Eire Og Nenagh and Tipperary that saw the best of O’Donovan but he always remains an Effin man.