John Kiely: 'There is no hype for us'
By Cian O'Connell
Limerick manager John Kiely insists that a talented crop of Limerick players won't be burdened by any hype ahead of an August 19 All Ireland SHC Final.
Having claimed two All Ireland Under 21 titles in the past three years Limerick are now delivering at the highest level, but Kiely insists that the players will remain focused.
"There is no hype for us whatsoever," Kiely stated immediately after a gripping extra-time success over Cork at Croke Park. "Hype is something for a supporter, we have our own objectives, our own goals, our own work, we have our own routines and our own patterns. We don't have open training sessions for example, the lads go to work every day.
"That is it, we just go about our daily lives and to be fair the supporters have been absolutely fantastic. They have given us great space and I'm sure they will over the next three weeks. This isn't to become an issue, it is not an issue. It hasn't been an issue and that is it."
Kiely, who has steered Limerick into their first All Ireland final since 2007, acknowledged the importance of Limerick's passionate supporters, who celebrated a stirring victory over Cork at GAA headquarters.
"Hugely, outside there, that is the supporters job," Kiely remarked. "What you saw going on there for two hours, they lifted the roof, it was phenomenal and it lifted our team so much at vital times in the game.
"It was immense. I can't thank them enough and I know they will do that in the future. I thank them for it and I'm so appreciative and so are the players. We have huge regard for our support, we just need to be able to do our work over the next three weeks."
In the closing stages of normal time when trailing by six points what was going through Kiely's mind? "We needed to make a couple of adjustments, we needed to respond very quickly because the clock was running down. I suppose our bench were phenomenal today.
"When the lads had emptied the tank, cramping, and getting tired we had to make changes that were difficult because we had players, who played very, very well, but we had to take a gamble that they had given their all. Sometimes that is a hard change to make, but we made a few changes, and we managed to get a foothold on the Cork puckout at that stage aswell. The boys that went in, they won hard ball, they made hard runs, and they took on the shots when they presented themselves.
"They clawed it back down to three, clawed it level and then got the leading score from a free. We conceded a free on the far side and fair play to Patrick Horgan, he is an unbelievable free-taker. That pressure to take that shot, he got it off, it was incredible. It was an incredible game.
"We felt happy going into extra-time because we have been through it so many times this year in different games. Tipperary and Clare in the League, the Munster League Final, we had been through it a few times, and it stood to us."