Gleeson: ‘We have one more step to go’
*By Cian O'Connell *
Waterford’s Austin Gleeson admits the pain of losing an epic All Ireland SHC Semi-Final replay against Kilkenny will linger for a ‘long time’, but the Bord Gais Energy Under 21 Championship still carries significance.
The Deise were far too classy for a spirited Antrim outfit at Semple Stadium last Saturday and now face Galway in the decider on September 10.
“It was nice to get the win after last week, but it will take a long time to get over how close we were and how far away we are now,” Gleeson told GAA.ie. “Getting back out playing with a lot of the lads was massive for us. We are just looking forward to the final now.
“There was a lot of talk in the lead up to the game that all we needed to do was to turn up to defeat Antrim. We didn't let that get into our heads, we knew we had to produce a performance.”
"We went back on Tuesday, some who were sore after the Kilkenny game just worked with the physio,” Gleeson said. "We were back on the pitch on Thursday, we just wanted to drive on from there. We made a promise to ourselves then.”
Having tasted All Ireland minor glory in 2013 Gleeson isn’t overly concerned about the heavy burden of expectancy being placed on this immensely talented Waterford group.
“We set our stall out three years ago that we had a good team,” Gleeson reflects. “It was the same at the start of this year.
“We were a lot of people's favourites at the start of the year, and to be honest I don't think Waterford teams perform as well when they have the favouritism tag.
“We just knew that we had the talent and that if we kept going we could do it. We have one more step to go and hopefully Patrick (Curran) and Adam (Farrell) will be up lifting the trophy at the end.”