NO talk of three-in-a-rows for the Limerick minor hurlers, according to selector Brian Foley.
By the very nature of minor hurling, there is a sizeable change in the varying panels from year to year and indeed management has changed since the double was achieved last Summer.
“It’s a big game and people might talk about three-in-a-row but we are just focused on another game - if we win it will be in the history books and record books but we are not putting that kind of pressure on the lads,” explained Foley.
“It’s a game - Munster final day on July 12 and at the start of the year people would have taken your hands off for that so we are looking forward to it.”
Foley moved into the minor set-up after managing with Limerick U-17s last season with another minor selector John Mulqueen.
“We have a nice group - people might say not as spectacular as the last two years but we don’t mind that. We are focused on what we have,” he explained.
“We are not the finished article yet - it was great to beat Cork and Waterford but I don’t think we have played for 60-minutes and hoping Sunday that we will put in a performance and that the result would look after itself. We are looking for improvement on Sunday and if we do, we are in there with a shout,” outlined the Waterford based secondary school teacher.
“Last October we met and sat met when we all met first and to get to the Munster final was a target because they have got there the two previous years and were lucky enough to win them. Once the draw was made we didn’t look beyond April 8 and Cork in Pairc Ui Rinn.”
That opening round game didn’t go according to plan but lessons learned have been invaluable.
“Preparations went well going down to Cork but we would all agree that we didn’t really know our best team, albeit we had Kilkenny beaten 10 days previous and in hindsight that was a false indicator and we certainly learned in the Cork defeat and tweaked the few things and learned.”
The basic ingredient is work rate, according to Foley.
“On the ball we have some lovely hurlers but without the ball we are stressing the need to work. Without the ball fellas have to get hooks and blocks. Seamus Flanagan and Barry Murphy didn’t score and we would be looking for them to score but both got in vital hooks and blocks. Without the ball we need to put pressure on.”
“Seven of those lads played in Croke Park last year and that has to mean something - I know they are only minor and we all make mistakes but we encourage that if we do make mistakes that we move on and learn from it. We don’t panic - we were six down against Waterford and won by five and we were three down against Cork and lucky enough to cling on with patience and we finally got the reward,” said the selector.