Donal O’Grady confident of “focused in” Limerick’s chances.
Donal O’Grady was part of the Limerick side to contest the All Ireland Hurling final in 2007. That day Kilkenny accounted for Limerick, winning their second consecutive title and would eventually go to complete four titles in a row.
O’Grady however, feels that his side didn’t deal with the build up to the game as well as they could have and when Kilkenny scored two early goals, the were able to keep Limerick at arms length for the remainder of the game.
Speaking at the recent Limerick GAA panel event O’Grady feels that John Kiely’s side are a completely different animal who are fully focused on the game.
“We’ll call a spade a spade, I don’t think we’ve gone to Croke Park in the last 40 or 50 years with a bunch like we have now. They’re not going to get caught up in the emotion or the crowd. These are so focused in and they have some job done with them just to be so cool and composed.”
Composure has been a key factor in Limerick’s success this year both on and off the pitch. Take the Clare game in isolation and Limerick have responded to the on-field challenges laid down by Tipperary, Waterford, Cork and Kilkenny. Post match interactions have rightly been measured.
The role of Caroline Currid has been mentioned throughout the summer and O’Grady commended her on the work she has done with the squad to keep them level-headed and single-minded as the final approaches.
The Granagh-Ballingarry man says there was an overriding feeling within the ’07 group that they had let themselves and the supporters down but feels there will be no such feeling with this group of players as they look to bridge a 45 year wait.
“It was such a rollercoaster journey for us. But as the match went we were never close enough to get the crowd involved. They had a six or seven point cushion and that’s a bad feeling too, not doing yourself justice. But there’s no fear of these bunch of lads.”