Limerick coach Paul Beary: ‘semi-finals are no mans land’

Jerome O’Connell


Jerome O’Connell

Limerick coach Paul Beary during a press event last week ahead of the All Ireland semi-final against Kilkenny
Not for the first time this year Paul Beary finds himself plotting the downfall of a hurling superpower in an All Ireland semi-final.

Not for the first time this year Paul Beary finds himself plotting the downfall of a hurling superpower in an All Ireland semi-final.

Back in February Beary and Na Piarsaigh were unsuccessful against Portumna.

The pain of semi-final defeat is not something Beary wants to revisit so soon.

“Myself personally I have experienced semi final defeat twice at All Ireland club level - it’s an awful place to lose. At least if you get to a final and lose at least you were part of the occasion. Semi-finals are no mans land in terms of suffering a loss and something I don’t want to experience again,” outlined Beary.

In his first season at inter-county level, the Limerick coach is relishing the challenge of reaching a first All Ireland final since 2007.

“This is as big as it gets really - it’s Kilkenny, number one and number two its Kilkenny in Croke Park and you don’t get any bigger than that really. For myself this is my first year being involved at inter-county and Kilkenny have been the standards bearers for such a long time ,” outlined Beary.

“In any sport you want to ploy their trade with the best and Kilkenny have been the best for such a long time, since 1999-2000 and they are a remarkable success story. When you are playing Kilkenny you know that you are there or there abouts in the competition,” he said.

Limerick are back in the All Ireland semi-final for a second successive year, but the targets are higher.

“Fundamentally our goal is to make sure that we write a new narrative for Limerick hurling - we want to have substance behind what we are doing, thats the main goal and objective.”

“There would be a lot of individuals there who want to get back there and perform on that scale,” he said of Croke Park.

“At the end of the day - we have a fantastic blend of youth and experience.”

The guys are 25, 26, 27, 28 years of age and have five or six seasons behind them playing at this level and you would like to think at this stage Limerick have learned every lesson there is to be learned. From a coaching perspective making a mistake once is forgiven but twice is really unforgivable,” said the Na Piarsaigh man.

He said that dwelling on the past was not an option.

“Thats something that we actually looked at very very early on in the year, in terms of seeking their feedback on their experiences from last year and what went right and what went wrong and if it went wrong why did it go wrong and what can we take from it. It is a motivating factor but maybe at times misinterpreted in that getting back to Croke Park is not the overall thing.”