ALL IRELAND winning U-21 hurling manager John Kiely has urged his players to “reach to be the best ye can possibly be”.
In his address to last Sunday’s Celebration Banquet, Kiely urged all present to make winning a habit for all Limerick GAA teams.
“This shouldn’t be once in a 13-year cycle - this should be an annual situation. This should be something we expect ourselves to do on a regular basis, that you should expect yourself to do on a regular basis,” he said of the celebration in the Woodlands House Hotel in Adare.
“I would like to think that ye can progress to much higher levels -keep yer feet on the ground, the suits are lovely but they go back in the wardrobe tomorrow, medals stay forever,” he said, addressing the 40-man U-21 panel.
“Your future is very bright,” he stressed.
“The levels that ye can achieve or attain will be dictated by the level of effort ye put in in the future. Ye have made a mighty start in the last three or four years of yer careers. Don’t look back in five years time and say what happened that team, where is he gone, why did he not get better or push on. Ye have the opportunity now, take it with two hands and every single day you should ask yourself what can I do better - don’t think that you are the full article because you are not, far from it but ye have all the tools in yer grasp that can make ye great players and ye can do great things together too as a unit.
He added: “Ye need to reach to be the best ye can possibly be - that can happen, what comes with that, who knows?”
Kiely was fulsome in praise of his players.
“It was an absolute pleasure to work with you - an honour. Your application is extraordinary. The ability to turn something that we might give you as an instruction or direction and turn it into something that happens in the heat of battle when everything is moving so fast is extraordinary and that’s what makes ye a very formidable unit,” he explained.
The All Ireland and Munster U-21 medals were presented by Munster Council chairman Robert Frost.
Limerick GAA chairman Oliver Mann also spoke to the gathering of almost 250 invited guests.
“Nothing just happens - the fact that you have achieved what you set out to do happened because you worked so hard. For some of you this start 15 years ago when you were U-6s. I would like to compliment the clubs who supplied the players and the schools who furthered the talents,” said the chairman.
“We all know the future is bright but I am not going to burden the players by saying they are the future, what I would say is your part of the future. To put the burden of the responsibilty of the future of Limerick solely on you players - you have developed over the last number of years and no doubt this can be furthered,” said the Limerick GAA chairman in his pre-dinner address.