WHEN Kieran Bermingham lifted the Daly Cup in the Gaelic Grounds he wrote himself deep into the history of Na Piarsaigh.
That county final win set in motion a run of success that the former captain wants to culminate in Croke Park this Thursday when Na Piarsaigh play Cushendall in the All Ireland club SHC final.
“We are trying to make our own tradition and put the club in a good place going forward,” outlines Bermingham, who is a team selector.
“These are fantastic days but ultimately we are still in a competition that we want to win – while it’s a fantastic day, we can’t lose focus that there is still a game to be played,” said a determined Bermingham.
As he talks the corridors of the clubhouse in Caherdavin are alive with supporters collecting match tickets.
“The reason why we are here is because the players are so driven as a group and we would encourage the supporters and all the members of the club to be excited on these days but it’s not really for the panel of players - the players have to be focused on Ruairi Og Cushendall.”
Any management worries about Na Piarsaigh ‘freezing’ on the big stage, don’t exist.
”The rules of the game will be the same!” jokes Bermingham.
“We have now put ourselves in a position to play Cushendall, where you either come first or last – it’s winner take all.”
He continues: "We are not happy just putting in an mediocre performance - they know what it will take and we are just hoping that it will come right on the day and God willing we will be making a little bit of history.”
“We are rubbing shoulders with terrific teams but we are not happy going up looking around, we have done that!”
Like so many more Bermingham can be found on a Saturday morning in the club with their underage set-up.
It’s breathing ground for all.
“I could only invite anyone to come down on a Saturday morning and look at the structure that it is in place, be it volunteers in the shop or people outside putting down cones. We had terrific underage coaches and would have some of the senior panel down there coaching kids because it is the right thing to do. Everybody buys into the club. We are delighted with the way that the club is going – in minor championships we have contested finals for the last couple of years, we are in a rich vein of form at U-21 level, we have contested two county junior finals and the senior record speaks for itself,” he outlines with pride.
But his determination to add one more piece of silverware is never far from his thoughts.
“We have tremendous leaders - we are very proud of everyone that will hop on the bus here on Paddys Days morning and we are traveling to win,” said the former corner back, who won an All Ireland U-21 medal with Limerick in 2001.
“We have characters in the team that on big days really stand up and we are hoping that they can do it again,”said the Na Piarsaigh selector referencing their routes to three Limerick and Munster club titles in five years.