Patrickswell have a club full of hurling heroes and legends but not many are revered and celebrated as much as former Limerick captain Ciaran Carey.
The club stalwart took over as manager of the team at the beginning of the season and along with former Limerick teammate Mark Foley, he has led his beloved Patrickswell to their first county final in nine years.
“It’s a huge game for us,” explained Carey.
“It’s our first county final since 2006 and we haven’t won it since 2003.
“To be fair, from where we started this year - we are just thrilled to be back in a final.”
Carey’s Patrickswell team have beaten all that have come before them in 2015 and go into the final on the back of a massive 22 point win over Adare in last Sunday’s semi-final.
“The semi-final was only one more fence and we’re just trying to keep our feet on the ground really.”
Carey kept his charges on the field in a huddle long after the final whistle on Sunday and didn’t give too much away on what was said.
“Basically just keeping things calm was the general chit chat after the game. We knew at that particular stage that we were going on the following Sunday so we were just planning our training for the week.”
Patrickswell are looking to go level with Ahane on 19 in the county title roll of honour but Carey believes it has no bearing on what his side are trying to do on Sunday.
“I haven’t heard that one since 2003 when we won our last title against Adare. It is immaterial.”
It was no surprise that the Patrickswell bainisteoir heaped praise on the Na Piarsiagh club in the lead up to the game.
“Na Piarsaigh’s success speaks for itself. They are in the minor final and they have the U-21 championship.
“They are odds on to win the junior championship and they are in the senior final. You need to say no more about Na Piarsaigh. It’s a huge battle for us but it’s one that we are looking forward to and a battle that we are going to relish.”
Carey was also fulsome in his praise of centre back and one of the stars of the Limerick All Ireland U-21 winning side, Diarmaid Byrnes.
Byrnes scored 0-7 against Adare and Carey was not surprised at his centre back’s performance.
“He was outstanding in that game - as were a lot of lads but Diarmaid Byrnes is putting in them kind of performances for over two years. It is no surprise. To be fair they are playing consistently well since the start of the year.
“All you can do with a group of players or individuals is try to add 20% or 30% or even up to 60% to their game.”
One of the masterstrokes that Carey and his backroom team have made this year is the positioning of Barry Foley at full back. Foley has had an outstanding season up to now and his experience could prove vital on Sunday.
“I hurled with Barry for years. I know his versatility so being honest it was never questionable in my mind that he was going to go in there and do a job. He has slotted in there like a glove on a hand.”
Carey refused to be drawn on how the game will be won, simply saying. “The team that has the biggest heart and the biggest soul will win.”