Cian Sheehan looking to move on from league relegation with “huge” Clare semi-final on the horizon

After promotion to Division 2 and reaching the Munster decider last year, Sheehan is keen to learn from the sping setback this time around.

It is a repeat of the final round of the National Football league but while that game was dead rubber for both with Limerick and Clare already relegated, this Saturday’s clash is for a place in the Munster Senior Football Championship final.

After a below par league campaign, Limerick’s first real series of poor form in three years, a loss would signal the end of their championship campaign with the relegation meaning they would enter the Tailteann Cup.

For Cian Sheehan, that alone is enough to motivate Limerick as they await their neighbours on Saturday evening.

“It’s huge. For us it’s the only way into the All-Ireland series and for that alone it’s a massive game.”


Limerick’s dreadful league campaign was compounded by a heavy defeat to this weekend’s opponents in the final round in Ennis. It ensured Limerick would end the campaign without a win while a managerial change for the final pair of games was a further disruption.

But after promotion and reaching the Munster decider last year, Sheehan is keen to learn from the Sping setbacks with the Newcastle West native hoping a “few small tweaks” can make the necessary difference.

“We tried a few things in the league that didn’t work. So we’re trying to go back to the basics and build from there. We’ve had a couple of weeks to work on small things that we think will have a big impact.

“You can’t just forget it but you just have to draw a line in the sand and move on. We had the weekend off to just try and forget about everything. Went back together then, put together the key learnings and what we can take from it to improve.

“A lot of things went on, big change with Billy and his staff leaving. Things aren’t always going to work out smoothly. I think we are doing very well now, just doing our best and we’ve had a few weeks to right a lot of things that we did wrong. There were a lot of games there that we left behind us. A couple of small tweaks could really improve our form and results.”

5 April 2023; Cian Sheehan of Limerick poses for a portrait at the launch of the Munster GAA Championship at Pairc Ui Chaoimh in Cork. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

It has also been a stop start year for Sheehan who was nominated for an All-Star in 2022 following his swashbuckling performances in the half-back line. He continued that form into the winter, helping Newcastle West to retain their SFC title for the first time ever. The Magpies came up just short in the Munster final but Sheehan came into the year as arguably Limerick’s key man.

However, he has been shoehorned into a number of positions so far this year, operating anywhere between the 45’s. But while it has been difficult, Sheehan is keen to do what’s best for the team wherever he is named this Saturday.

“I’ve played in a lot of positions this year. It’s hard when things aren’t really going your way, your moving around and doing your best. But it’s hard, you get caught between doing what’s best for your team and yourself but it’s been an interesting few games.”

A move to wing-back appears to be the obvious choice for Sheehan but regardless of the number on his jersey, expect the all-action Newcastle West man to be all over the Gaelic Grounds turf in a bid to ensure a return to the Munster final and a place in the All-Ireland series.

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