LIMERICK captain Declan Hannon accepts that his side won’t get the backing of neutrals in Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC final.
In 2018 Limerick ended a 45 year wait for Liam MacCarthy Cup success and were heralded across Ireland but on Sunday, Hannon and team-mates face a Waterford side bidding to win the title for the first time since 1959.
“In 2018 everybody in Ireland wanted Limerick to win, bar if you were from Galway and this year everybody in Ireland will want Waterford to win, bar if you are from Limerick – it’s total role reversal for ourselves but again it’s down to us to focus on our preparation and get ourselves in the best possible shape and put in a performance on the day and if it is good enough it’s good enough and if it’s not well then it’s not but we will be doing everything in our power to get the All Ireland final win on Sunday,” stressed the Limerick captain.
“You don’t get to All-Ireland every single year so when you do, you have to make hay. Who knows what’s going to happen next year or the year after. We are just focused on Sunday and hoping to get one more big performance out of us this year and hopefully that will be enough to get another All-Ireland title back to Limerick,” said the centre back, who captains Limerick into a second final in three years.
“It was always a dream to get to where we are at the minute. In 2018 it became a reality and then well we have done it already so why can’t we go and do it again. In 2019 we got close but not close enough but it showed we were up there with the best and coming into 2020 we wanted to push on again and try get back to the All Ireland final. We are absolutely delighted to be in this position and will give it our all,” he vowed, as Limerick bid to end 2020 with a 100% record from 13 games and collect four trophies.
Ahead of Sunday, the fitness of Aaron Gillane and David Dempsey remains unclear.
Top scorer Gillane spent a night in The Mater Hospital in Dublin after the semi final win over Galway, while fellow forward Dempsey missed out the last day due to a hamstring injury.
Both Patrickswell’s Gillane and Na Piarsaigh’s Dempsey missed some training this past week.
Manager John Kiely and his backroom team will confirm his starting team on Friday evening and in the four game run to the All-Ireland final, the same team has never started the next game.
Twenty two different players from the panel of 36 have been used to-date and that’s doesn’t include former All-Star defender Richie English who is now back in contention after recovering from his cruciate ligament injury sustained last February.
By Jerome O’Connell of the Limerick Leader.
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