LISTEN: Ciarán Carey “If Kilkenny crack the code they could derail Limerick”

In the past, Limerick teams would have always loved to have a crack off Kilkenny just to see where they were at physically and technically.

I’d imagine most teams out there now are looking at the performance of Limerick at this early stage and using that as a barometer for themselves. That’s new and unique to Limerick and it’s great.

With Limerick, I wouldn’t say that nobody isn’t guaranteed their place. At the end of the day, if your level of performance is high and you are maximising your potential to the highest that you can, the jersey is yours.

Allianz Hurling League Division 1A, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick 2/2/2019 Limerick vs Tipperary Limerick’s Conor Boylan in action against Tipperary’s Willie Connors Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

The only way you will hold onto it then is keeping that bar extremely high. In two games to date, Limerick have used a lot of players. Only two guys have stepped up for me after being given their chance and that’s Tom Condon and Conor Boylan.

Kevin Downes I would have left on. I know him from old and he is a confidence player that has a lot to offer. Another guy that is out injured at the moment is William O’Donoghue. He will push fairly hard as well. He had an outstanding year last year with Na Piarsaigh.

For us to have a similar kind of journey this year you will want two or three newcomers jumping in there and making the squad. No different to what the Dublin footballers have being doing for the last four or five years.

Our record against Kilkenny down through the years in the league when I was playing was good. They were the big guns, they were the big dogs at the time. You were relishing playing Kilkenny.

4 April 2010; Nicky Quaid, Limerick, in action against Jackie Tyrrell, Kilkenny. Allianz GAA Hurling National League Division 1 Round 6, Limerick v Kilkenny, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Anyone that is focused and thinking right will want to play the best and to test yourself as a team or individual.

Our record was fairly good against them and they had the likes of DJ Carey, Pat O’Neill, Charlie Carter, Canice Brennan and all these kind of guys.

I believe that Kilkenny are in transition at the moment and have been for the last two years.

The one thing I love about Kilkenny is that even if they don’t have the quality they once had, they will keep going and empty the tank every time. They will be there and working extremely hard and you have to respect that.

Watching Kilkenny last year, funnily enough they are the only team outside of Clare that have an idea of Limerick’s system.

GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final, Semple Stadium, Thurles 15/7/2018 Kilkenny vs Limerick Limerick’s Gearoid Hegarty with Conor Fogarty of Kilkenny Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

If they can curtail that they have a chance against Limerick. If they approach it like Tipperary did in the second half a couple of weeks ago like rabbits to headlights I can see Limerick doing what they did against Tipperary.

The winning and losing of this at the weekend will be if Kilkenny have their homework done. If they are aware of what Limerick bring and can counteract that, they have a chance.

A bit of sad news from Patrickswell during the week as well. Nora Bennis passed away very suddenly out of the blue and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my deepest sympathies to the Bennis family who are going through a very tough time.

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