Ryan Mullaney: 'These are the days you dream about'
By Cian O’Connell
It was one of those baking hot Championship days when everything seemed right in the world with Ryan Mullaney’s smile telling the tale.
Laois had caused a seismic shock defeating Dublin, advancing to an All Ireland Quarter-Final against Tipperary at Croke Park.
Having waited more than a decade to feature at GAA headquarters, Laois will return a fortnight after winning the Joe McDonagh Cup.
The victory over Dublin, though, brought Laois to a new level with Mullaney, an influential figure at centre back, acknowledging the significance of the success. “It is unreal, it is hard to describe because it means so much to us,” Mullaney says. “We are all proud Laois hurling people. These are the days you dream about.
“Last week was great, going to Croke Park, seeing the Laois crowd in Croke Park, and they were here again. O'Moore Park was rocking and next week going to Croker again it will be the same.”
Eddie Brennan’s work with Laois is worthy of the utmost respect with Mullaney stressing how the former Kilkenny forward has helped them to develop.
“Everyone has such belief in each other now,” Mullaney admits. “We have been working hard for each other, Eddie has made us believe in ourselves. That is the belief we have now, we always back each other up. Hopefully we proved that against Dublin.”
The growing belief and increasing momentum is critical according to Mullaney. “Yeah, I suppose that is probably it,” Mullaney accepts.
“Everyone in that dressing room believed that no doubt we weren't going to lose that game. It showed, it is unbelievable. The crowd got behind us and you heard the LAOIS, LAOIS, LAOIS, that famous chat. They got behind us which helped us to stay going, it was an unbelievable day.”
Inspiring the next generation and making sure Laois remain relevant is what ultimately can be achieved following Laois’ recent triumphs.
“It will make people want to hurl for Laois,” Mullaney stresses. “The amount of young lads that were out there, hopefully they will look up now and want to hurl for Laois. People will be proud to play for Laois, they will want to do it and think that we are going places.”
Laois’ remarkable 2019 adventures continues.