A 32-man panel has been finalised by the Limerick U-21 football management for next Wednesday’s Munster Championship clash with Cork.
The quarter-final game has a 7.30 start in the Gaelic Grounds as Limerick are first in line to try and deny Cork a historic five-in-a-row of Munster U-21 football championships.
But Limerick are looking for a first win at this grade since 2011 and three years ago this team were beaten by Cork and Kerry at minor level.
Cork have 25 titles at this level but twice previously they have just failed in attempts to put five titles in succession.
Managing Limerick is Newcastle West’s Declan Brouder.
Fifteen years ago he was centre forward on the only Limerick team to win a Munster U-21 championship.
Enroute to that title Limerick beat Cork.
“The comparisons I would see are that we were big outsiders to beat Cork and next week we will again be big outsiders to beat Cork, “ said Brouder.
“Cork are going for a five in a row and are the super power of Munster underage football - but we are really looking forward to the challenge ahead,” said Brouder, who has selectors in Ger O’Connor (Fr Caseys) and Moss McCarthy (Dromcollogher-Broadford).
“We are happy with the work that we have done and matches have been played against club, college and county U-21 teams,” outlined the manager, who is in his second season as a selector with John Brudair’s Limerick senior footballers.
After much unrest last season there is a great link between the senior and U-21 set-ups this season.
Indeed six of Limerick’s 32-man U-21 panel have played Allianz League football in the past two months - Gearoid Hegarty, Sean O’Dea, Cian Sheehan, Jason Mullins, Cillian Fahy and Stephen Cahill. Another two, Tony McCarthy and James Naughton played with Limerick in the McGrath Cup.
Hegarty is the U-21 captain, with O’Dea and Sheehan the vice-captains. All three enter the U-21 championship on the back of playing Sigerson Cup football in recent weeks, along with Cahill.
“We have an enthusiastic bunch of players who want to play football for Limerick. They are very committed and are an honest bunch of players,” said Brouder.
Limerick were beaten 3-15 to 0-8 by Cork last season. Seven of that starting team remain in the U-21 set-up. A further six of the panel are also still involved. The prize for the winner next Wednesday with a semi-final against Kerry.
PANEL: James O’Mara (Fr Caseys), Sean Barrett (Kilmallock), Tony McCarthy (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Killian Ryan (Mungret), Brian O’Connell (Ballylanders), Daniel Daly (Fr Caseys), Shane Cusack (Ahane), Chris Smith (Fr Caseys), Gavin Reidy (Newcastle West), Conor Bonfil (Monaleen), Eoin O’Farrell (Croom), Evan Quinlan (Monaleen), Keelen Stephenson (St Patricks), Eoin Hurley (Newcastle West), Cathal Finucane (Kilteely-Dromkeen), Jack Flavin (Fedamore), Darren Boyce (Dromcollogher-Broadford), Kevin Moore (Glin), Joey Healy (Newcastle West), Sam Mullins (Claughaun), Jack English (Adare), Jerry Flavin (Fedamore), Darragh Kennedy (Murroe-Boher), Cillian Fahy (Dromcollogher-Broadford), Cian Sheehan (Newcastle West), Sean O’Dea (Kilteely-Dromkeen), Jamie Stewart (St Patricks), Gearoid Hegarty (St Patricks), Stephen Cahill (Mountcollins), James Naughton (St Senans), William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsaigh), Jason Mullins (St Patricks).