LIMERICK’S All-Ireland hurling heroes were lauded as “phenomenal ambassadors” as they were presented with their Celtic Cross medals.
Over 300 people attended the gala ceremony in the Adare Manor with the 36 All-Ireland winners centre of attention.
“The most important people are the players - it’s all about the players and it has to be. We are so blessed with the 36 men that we have in this room tonight. Their application to what they do in training, their honesty on and off the pitch, their unity and how hard they work and push themselves to the limit and dedication to everything that is part of the game today, passion for Limerick hurling and fun they bring to the table, with energy, and pride they fill us with. They are phenomenal ambassadors for our clubs, colleges, county and families - I salute you,” said a proud manager John Kiely in his speech.
“It is for me the single greatest honour to be involved with them, to be able to work with them and to share the last two years with them. It’s a privilege every single night we go to training to spend time in the company of these guys. They motivate us and inspire us and we are so lucky to have them,” said the manager of his players.
“Enjoy this time - this is the time of your lives.”
Kiely’s thoughts turned quickly to the future.
“I know that you will re-dedicate yourselves to the development of yourself as individuals and players and I certainly look forward to seeing what you can turn into over the coming years, either in my role as it is or a supporter down the line. I can see that you have the capacity to improve and there are so many things out there for you, I ask you to redouble your efforts and chase those dreams and become the best people and athletes that you can.”
To a standing ovation, he concluded: “We will not be defending our titles in 2019 - we will attacking the title!".