Last weekend Limerick got their Division 1B campaign off to an ideal start with a comprehensive 1-25 to 0-18 victory over Laois in the Gaelic Grounds. Although it was a routine win for Limerick, there were four League debuts handed out to Aaron Gillane, Paddy O’Loughlin, Seamus Flanagan with Barry Murphy introduced from the bench.
This weekend Limerick travel to a rejuvenated Offaly who had a highly impressive victory over Dublin in Croke Park last Saturday night. We spoke to Limerick manager John Kiely ahead of this weekends game.
“You have to take notice of a performance (Offaly’s win against Dublin) like that. They didn’t just beat Dublin, they beat them convincingly… Their performance, comprehensive in terms of dominance of the game, they were well worthy of their win.”
“I’ve no doubt it will be a tough assignment going to Tullamore on Sunday. They will be full of confidence after last Saturday and their tails will be up. Its up to us to respond in kind.”
With Limerick looking to gain promotion to the top tier for the first time since 2010, Kiely is well aware of the task at hand. With the likes of Offaly, Dublin and Galway to come, Limerick aren’t looking ahead of themselves. With the Fitzgibbon cup heating up, Kiely will be looking to give his players sufficient rest ahead of the busy schedule.
“It’s a ruthless division especially when you’ve ambition to try and get out of it so you’ve to win all your games if you want to get out of it. But for us at the moment our focus has been on the first two matches.
“At the moment we’ve a lot going on. We’ve 18 lads currently in the panel who are involved in the Fitzgibbon Cup. LIT, Mary I and UL were all out today for example so it’s a very heavy schedule for them at the moment, playing last weekend, playing today and a match on Sunday.”
With the Munster Hurling League wrapped up already and a number of new players embedded into the squad, Limerick have been building steady so far in 2018. However, a number of injuries have surfaced with Declan Hannon only returning to training on Tuesday. Kyle Hayes and Graham Mulcahy are expected back to training in the next couple of weeks.
“(January) Its been a good one for us. The lads came back in fresh… So far so good.”
We have picked up quite a few injuries along the way… We haven’t a huge panel at the minute, we’re running on a limited amount of players, trying to be sensible with, not to overload the lads and take it from week to week.