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03 Dec 2021

John Kiely lauds Limerick hurlers as 'incredible people who have given everything of themselves'

John Kiely lauds Limerick hurlers as 'incredible people who have given everything of themselves'

Limerick hurling duo Gearoid Hegarty and Sean Finn with their All-Ireland SHC medals. PIC: Diarmuid Greene

JOHN Kiely has vowed that the Limerick senior hurlers will work “hammer and tongs” to try keep the men in green and white at the top of the inter-county game.

The Limerick manager was addressing the attendance at Saturday’s gala medal ceremony in The Strand Hotel.

“It’s not about the end point - it’s about the piece in the middle and if we live up to the values that we aspire to, we will give ourselves opportunities in the future and that is all that we can ask for. If we take those opportunities, well then so be it, but if we don’t have those opportunities we don’t have the chance to seize the day. We need to go after those opportunities, go after it hammer and tongs from the minute we go back. It will be tough but we will go after it and we will give ourselves opportunities,” stressed John Kiely.

The hurlers have returned eight trophies to Limerick since their breakthrough season in 2018 and medals for all those eight competitions were presented by GAA President Larry McCarthy.

“It’s an incredible thing that we had to wait this long to do as much as we have to do this evening. Inside in each of those boxes was a huge story for each one of those players,” outlined the manager.

“Many players might have been forgiven for saying that after 2018 after such a long gap between victories in ‘73 and 2018, that it would have been forgiven for fellas to enjoy their success and take a dip. Quite the opposite was the case with these guys - they wanted to go back for more and long may that last. That’s what it takes to do what these guys do,” he said.

“We learned in 2019 that things don’t always go the way we wanted but if you keep giving yourself opportunities and keep turning up for those days that matter and keep putting in those evenings in Rathkeale or the Gaelic Grounds. They have trained really hard and are incredible men. Incredible people who have given everything of themselves - heart, soul and mind to the effort over the last number of years," outlined Kiely.

The three time All-Ireland SHC winning manager spoke of the "blood, sweat, tears and laughter of a memorable journey since 2018" and the "unique connection" between the players.

"In congratulating the players, what am I congratulating them on? Am I congratulating them on the titles that they won, the medals they won? Being honest I am not. Because for me and us as a group it’s not about the end result, it's about piece in between the start and the end. It’s about the honesty of effort that players have shown in training outside in Rathkeale or the Gaelic Grounds or where ever we go to train. That honesty is not easy - it is extremely hard. I have to applaud you guys for that honesty you have everyday to do the right thing for the group," explained John Kiely, who added that "work ethic" and "respect ye have for each other" as other key ingredients in the Limerick receipt for success.

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