Limerick U21 Hurling manger Pat Donnelly is expecting a tough physical challenge from Tribesmen in Thurles on Saturday evening.
This Saturday Limerick face Gawlay in the All-Ireland U21 Hurling Semi-Final in Semple Stadium. These sides met at the same stage two years ago with Limerick running out victors on route to a first All-Ireland title since 2002.
The Pat Donnelly managed side defeated Tipperary, Clare and Cork on their way to winning the Munster Championship. Donnelly’s charges have lit up the championship with their free-flowing play and are heavy favourites heading into the semi final.
Speaking with Sporting Limerick in the build up to the game, Pat Donnelly is taking nothing for granted
“We dont know a whole lot about them because we havent seem them in competitive action so thats a negative for us. But look we kind of focus on ourselves nearly most of the time anyway, and thats we will continue to do this weekend.
We have an idea, we haven’t seen them but we have an idea what they will be about.”
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Discussing the depth of his squad, Donnelly is confident that his side will continue to improve on from their previous performances. Limerick were brilliant to watch in the opening two Munster games but had to dog it out in the final against Cork as they came up against a physically tough side.
“They’re getting stronger, not just saying it but the panel is getting stronger, you can see now that subs coming on, getting better the further on we’re going, pushing lads for places.
There’s one or two places up for grabs and there’s plenty of fellas putting their hands up.”
As for the opponents, Donnelly thinks that Galway will try to impose themselves physically on a Limerick side full of flair in both attack and defence. The likes of Cian Lynch and Aaron Gillane in attack are almost unstoppable when they get into their grove and Gawlay may try to ruffle their feathers, something the Limerick management are aware of.
“I think they will get physical. Thats my own opinion, I might be completely wrong but I think they might try get physical with us and we’ll be ready for that. it could be something you wouldnt expect but something we’re kind of half expecting.”
Thankfully for Donnelly, there is “a clean bill of health” heading into this crucial game.
You can listen to Pat Donnelly’s interview in full on the link below.