WATCH | “Now is the time to put their hand up” | Kiely pleased with squad as fringe players set out their stall

Limerick put in a dominant display as they bested Clare to win the Munster Hurling Cup Final

Limerick looked like they haven’t skipped single gear since the All-Ireland final in August as they ran out comfortable winners against Clare in the Munster Hurling Cup Final.

David Reidy was Limerick’s main focal point of attack as he put up 0-12 of their total score.

Going into the break Limerick had assimilated quite a lead as the score read 0-17 to 0-9 in the visitor’s favour.

From the break onwards Limerick never looked like losing as they claimed the Januray title with a 0-27 to 0-18 success.

23 January 2022; Limerick players and Manager John Kiely, right, after the 2022 Co-op Superstores Munster Hurling Cup Final match between Limerick and Clare at Cusack Park in Ennis, Clare. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

After the game Kiely praised for the ‘new’ players that have put their hand up for selection as the League draws closer.

“There not necessarily new players they are players that are on the panel for a number of years now. Like everything its time for them to put their hands up now and start pushing for their place in the team and have more involvement in the campaign ahead. They know that and they expect that of themselves so I wouldn’t expect less of them”

“They’ve done well over the last two games, but they know themselves they have a lot of work to do and that it’s a very competitive environment that they are working in. Their attitude is good and that’s all I can ask at this time of the year that their attitude is good and that they are trying to bring as much as they can to the table.”

Just four of the team that started last year’s All-Ireland final were named from the start on Sunday with Kiely satisfied with the fringe players pushing each other for spots on the team that contains no fewer than seventeen All-Stars.

“It’s vital, its not just satisfying its vital. These boys are ambitious, and they want to be playing a bigger part in what’s ahead of us throughout the springtime and summer, so you know now is the time to put their hand up. They are playing well with their colleges as well so that’s important.”

7 August 2021; Limerick players break away from the team picture before the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final match between Limerick and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

With the recent changes to the water breaks, Kiely was asked about his opinion and what it means for communication with the players. With a bit of humour he replied,

“Well by all accounts its going to be a major setback for us so we will have to wait and see wont we”.

John Kiely

The Limerick manager continued on to say,

“It’s very difficult because listen I know for a fact I was trying to shout in messages during the game in the first half. When the crowd was really involved and there’s only eight thousand here and the lads couldn’t hear me. This is a problem why do you think it was introduced in the first place only so we could get messages in. It will be very interesting to listen to the comments of others throughout the season.”

23 January 2022; Limerick captain Barry Nash lifts the cup after the 2022 Co-op Superstores Munster Hurling Cup Final match between Limerick and Clare at Cusack Park in Ennis, Clare. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Due to a shorter season Kiely was asked about the high volume of games that will have to be played

“There’s going to be a lot of matches, the more games the better. It is going to be challenging of course it is, its going to be really tough but that’s why we need to be building our player base and having as many players as possible ready to play, willing to play and up to the standard. That’s what our challenge is to have as many players as possible up to participating and adding to what the team are doing.”

Sunday was only the first of three games with Clare and while he was pleased with the win in Ennis, Kiely is fully focused on getting the championship win against the Banner.

“There is only one match that matters here this year and that’s the Championship match that matters. Everything else is only a dress rehearsal.”

Watch the interview in full with Kiely below.

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