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Limerick hurling manager John Kiely.
Limerick hurling manager John Kiely.

John Kiely enjoys Super 11s format

By Shane O’Brien

Limerick hurling manager John Kiely praised the Super 11s format following his side’s defeat to Kilkenny in the final of the New York Hurling Classic in Citi Field on Saturday.

Kiely said that the Super 11s meant a great deal to Irish people living in America and that it was important to give people who could not travel back to Ireland an opportunity to watch “their heroes.”

The Limerick manager also said that the event would encourage second generation Irish immigrants to take up the sport in GAA clubs scattered across the United States.

“There are a lot of second generation Irish-American people who are playing the game here who have probably never been to a game in Ireland and we’re trying to encourage them to join their local GAA club and get involved,” Kiely remarked.

“It makes it an awful lot easier when they have matches like this to go to,” Kiely said in a press conference following the comprehensive defeat to Kilkenny.

Kiely laughed off suggestions that Kilkenny now have his side’s number as the Cats recorded a second successive victory over Limerick.

“No, I’m not worried. It was a good game and we had plenty of chances, particularly in the first half.

“Eoin Murphy made some amazing saves and we maybe made it a little bit easier for him than we would have liked. We put in too really good shifts across the two games and I’ve no complaints. We were here to enjoy ourselves this weekend.”

Kiely added that the event was as exciting to the players as it was to the spectators, saying that they could never pass up a chance to play in famous grounds like Citi Field.

“I think we’ll never forget the day we played in Citi Field in New York,” Kiely concluded.

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