ALL Ireland U-21 winning manager John Kiely has urged supporters to be patient with Limerick’s new underage hurling heroes.
Limerick were 0-26 to 1-7 winners over Wexford in Thurles on Saturday night but Kiely says that there is a huge step up in standard to senior hurling.
“Let there be no bones about it, this is an U-21 All Ireland. There is a long long way between and U-21 All Ireland and a senior All Ireland,” stressed Kiely, who was a senior selector with John Allen when Limerick won the 2013 Munster SHC.
“People need to get real, people need to give these guys, and the people who are going to be over them, time to manage them, develop them and to get into the gym for two to three to four years to put on the necessary condition that you require to take on the likes of Kilkenny and Galway. They are a good deal ahead of us at the moment and the boys need time to develop,” outlined Kiely after his rising stars demolished Wexford to win a first All Ireland at any inter-county hurling grade in 13 years.
“People need to be very realistic - it’s not realistic to expect those players to move en masse into a senior set-up and perform and take on senior teams next year. That’s not possible and they need time. There are a load of them underage next year and it should be all about development, strength, speed, confidence, hurling ability and keep pushing on to try and win titles whether they be Munster or All Ireland and with time hopefully we will get an opportunity to challenge for an All Ireland senior title but at the moment that is something that is probably a little off,” he stressed.
“This is a long journey - this is a big stepping stone but the players have to be realistic too and they have to go and do the work and do it for a long period of time. For them to become consistently good players at inter-county senior level, they have a long long way to go with a lot of work and we just need to give them the time and space to do it.”