Paddy Cadell: 'It's the stuff of dreams'
By John Harrington
As he was hugged and back-slapped by family and friends after Tipperary’s Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U-20 Hurling Final victory over Cork on Saturday, Paddy Cadell revelled in the moment.
Not many hurlers in the history of the game have won a Senior All-Ireland on a Sunday and then an U-20 All-Ireland six days later.
“It's been an amazing week,” said the elated JK Brackens club-man after Saturday’s match.
“Words can't really describe the week we've put down, in fairness. It's the stuff of dreams.
“For a 19-year-old to be able to involved with a panel that goes and wins the All-Ireland Senior Championship and then to turn around six days later and be out on the pitch with the U-20s team that wins the All-Ireland is amazing.
“Words could describe the feeling I had when the final whistle blew. It really just sinks in that you have achieved two unbelievable things in six days.”
Tipperary manager, Liam Cahill, said he was confident his team would produce a top-class performance on Saturday because training on the previous Tuesday had gone so well.
According to Cahill, senior panellists Cadell, Jake Morris, and Jerome Cahill were “hopping off the ground” and that set the tone for the rest of the group.
The message was clear - the senior trio’s appetite for success had been in no way diminished by winning an All-Ireland two days previously – and everyone else in the panel was energised by their attitude.
“We were really eager to make an impression on Tuesday night, that our year hadn't finished yet,” said Cadell.
“That was the big thing for us, we wanted to drive on the other lads and let them know that we were here.
“I suppose when the All-Ireland was achieved last Sunday, just to let them know we were in the right frame of mind to come and take on this Cork team again.
“Because anything other than the right frame of mind and going at it 100 per cent wouldn't have been good enough.”
Tipperary blew Cork away in the first eight minutes of the match when they hit four goals.
Their attacking play was a joy to watch in those early stages of the game, but it wouldn’t have been possible had centre-back Cadell and his colleagues in defence not given their team such a dominant platform from the very start.
“Yeah, it was crazy the way they were going in there and the way the green flag was being lifted,” said Cadell. “I suppose you just have to keep your own head switched on.
“When Jerry (Jerome) Cahill went through there and got that (fourth) goal it would have been no good to anyone if they had turned around and the centre-forward had picked the ball off me and ran in on goal at the far end.
“That's just the main thing, you're just trying to keep it as safe as you can back there. Just giving these lads a chance to take on the Cork backs and go at them.”
Liam Cahill expressed his hope after the match that this generation of young Tipperary hurlers don’t let all their underage success go to their heads, and that they go on from here to establish themselves as senior inter-county hurlers of the highest calibre.
Cadell is already very much on the way to doing that, and he’s confident there are many more who will do the same in the coming years.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “I don't think this win is going to go to any of our heads. We're going to enjoy it of course, it's an All-Ireland medal and it's a huge achievement for this group.
“But next November/December, there will be a senior panel called again and I'm sure some more of these lads will be involved. They're going to be chomping at the bit to be involved with the senior set-up here in Tipperary.
“There's a lot of players on this team too who will still be at U-20 level again next year and definitely they have the right attitude to push on again and try to repeat what we've done this year.”