Kyle Hayes: 'We want to push on and win another few'
By John Harrington
Kyle Hayes says his generation of Limerick hurlers are determined to win more All-Ireland titles before they’re finished.
The 20-year old knows they’ll have a target on their backs in 2019 after their All-Ireland success this year, but he’s not daunted by the prospect.
“Yeah, 100 per cent, but we'll welcome on that challenge,” said Hayes today at the launch of the new PwC All-Stars App.
“We're going to defend it with everything we have.
“We want to improve more, we're not just content with staying where we are at the moment.
“We want to push on and win another few anyway, definitely.
“We'll always dig deep to get something more out of us. Speaking on behalf of all of us, we haven't reached our full potential yet.
“We're a young team and we'll relish that challenge now for, first of all, next year when we defend it first.
“We just want to grow and get closer as a team and we'll mature and get a bit more experienced and we should improve anyway.”
Hayes’ confidence shouldn’t be mistaken for arrogance.
Spend some time in his company and you quickly discover he’s a very down to earth person.
He believes it’s a trait shared by all of his team-mates and that’s why he doesn’t expect this year’s success to go to their heads.
“No, I doubt it, everyone is the same, that's why we did well this year,” he said.
“We weren't getting carried away. There's no point listening to stories outside of the camp. You'll only get your head blown up.
“Everyone is fairly grounded to be fair. And as long as we keep that way it should be alright.”
If you’ve driven through Hayes’ homeplace of Kildimo since the All-Ireland Final victory you might have noticed signs have been erected on the approach roads re-naming the village ‘Kyledimo’.
He’s very much the home-town hero, but remains unaffected by all the back-slapping and adulation that has come his way since the All-Ireland Final.
“Same old me, anyway! It's crazy, the reaction we're getting in Limerick, people are still coming up and congratulating you and it's four or five weeks on since the Final.
“You're meeting men in their 50s just after the match or the week of it and they're nearly breaking down crying to you.
“It shows you how much it means to everyone in Limerick. It's such a major thing and something I want more often.”