'No nerves' | 

John Kiely insists tone for Limerick’s All-Ireland victory was set on train to Dublin

“It wasn’t just the player group it was the management team as well. There was a huge amount of banter, just fun, no nerves. There was nothing to give any indication that there was any nervousness there at all.”
Limerick's Gearóid Hegarty celebrates with the Liam MacCarthy Cup. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Limerick's Gearóid Hegarty celebrates with the Liam MacCarthy Cup. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

Seán McGoldrickIndependent.ie

From the moment the players assembled this morning in Limerick Railway Station for the trip to Croke Park manager John Kiely sensed that the mood was perfect to deliver a historic result.

“We knew from the moment we met in the train, the noise levels in our group were through the roof. It is always a real barometer of where we are at as a group, particularly the player group,” he said.

“It wasn’t just the player group it was the management team as well. There was a huge amount of banter, just fun, no nerves. There was nothing to give any indication that there was any nervousness there at all.

“Our day went really smoothly as well. Everything was almost a minute or two ahead if you like. It is an important part of what you have to do in order to perform.

“I’m just thrilled with the performance. We knew it was going to be a really tough game.

Limerick manager John Kiely, his wife Louise and daughters Aoife and Ruth, right, celebrate with the Liam MacCarthy Cup after victory over Kilkenny at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Limerick manager John Kiely, his wife Louise and daughters Aoife and Ruth, right, celebrate with the Liam MacCarthy Cup after victory over Kilkenny at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

“When you are coming in like we were after winning two, it is really challenging to be ready and on the money but we were today,” said Kiely who is now the second most successful hurling coach in history guiding his native county to four Liam MacCarthy triumphs in five years.

He revealed that even before the semi-final against Galway he felt the team had finally started to hit levels they hadn’t previously achieved.

“I think the last four or five weeks, even before the Galway game we were hitting levels of performance in training that didn’t come out in the Galway game,” Kiely said.

“We were disappointed with our level of performance in the Galway game. Individuals would have been very disappointed with their performance in the Galway game.”

He said the players had shown remarkable level of commitment during a training session on the Tuesday night after their laboured win over Galway.

“It’s really not meant to be that kind of session. But it almost becomes that because the players are demanding it of themselves,” he added.

“So, even if you are just doing a high ball drill and there are two fellows underneath it and they are wrestling each other to the ground when they get under that high ball, you know then they are on the money.

“The boys set the tone themselves for the two weeks and it has probably been a super two weeks for all of us of us. Paul (Kinnerk, coach) had a fantastic piece of work put together for them over the two weeks. He drove them hard,” said Kiely.


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