A Review of This Twitter Sportsfile
Different buttons need to be pressed with Various men’ Photo: Sportsfile
Last year that the newspaper article maintained that Shane O’Neill was about to be appointed the senior hurling manager of Limerick. He became conscious of a comparable news flash on Twitter and soon his phone went “ballistic” but the story was without foundation. He states he was never approached about the position. And he had no ambitions in that direction. He discovers a rest from the day job and direction but he has only handled Na Piarsaigh and almost certainly only actually will.
The last calendar year his career finished at 38 at a extensive county semi-final defeat by Kilmallock at 2012, having been a part of the club’s first championship win. When they dropped to Kilmallock, their Munster title, won the fall, went. Na Piarsaigh chose to trust among their own after Seán Stack left by Portumna following the 2014 All-Ireland club semi-final defeat. O’Neill was a clear candidate, having handled the team under 21s to a number of county names while still a player.
He was still comparatively green for management though in comparison to to attempt to emulate. In Stack’s final year in direction, O’Neill got his foot within the door as a match analyst. “That gave me a flavour of what was included,” he states. “I wasn’t involved with the selection or something like that but I’d do an aul’ report following a match of everything I watched, what I thought might be applicable.”
So as to commit to direction, to go that extra mile, then he needed to make sure he had the team about him he wanted. Alan Cunningham arrived as coach. Darragh Droog looked after conditioning and strength and Kieran Birmingham, the 2011 captain, combined as a selector. “I could not have asked for a better management team. We’ve got a lively. But we still have our arguments and perspectives on what has to be carried out. I guess the first year, we found our feet. We are beaten by Kilmallock at the county final. We had been favourites but didn’t perform, only played for ten minutes in the end. Kilmallock were the better team in the day, they needed to win. We heard a lot from that.”
Some with were still playing when he shot over, introducing a difficulty. The job was new although he wasn’t a stranger and only challenging experience would instruct him if he would be satisfied. “That was something I was aware of,” he acknowledges. “To some degree you have to take a step back however, your team is your club – you are not likely to take a step backwards just like an Alex Ferguson kind of figure. They are your team guys. You socialise together.”
When asked what was different, ” he jokes that after matches among their players, Kevin Ryan, “would not be texting me to determine where we were moving. That was the largest change.” Following Stack’s departure and the Portumna defeat they didn’t have much time to relaunch their mission beginning inside two weeks. “In the first championship game, in equity, they performed (defeating Kilmallock) and I knew we would not have too much difficulty,” explains O’Neill. “They beat us in the final later but it was a good start. A reaction was to what we have been doing.
“I suppose we got to the final without playing particularly well. We had a semi-final against Ahane and we won it by 25 points or anything. Mightn’t have been the best way going in the final, but comparable maybe to beating Blackrock (from the recent Munster semi-final), you kinda wonder were we analyzed enough?”
Today brings a Munster championship match. They had been the opposition in their first match in the state and over their three Munster campaigns, and that which has passed of the fourth, a golf game that is provincial has never been missing by Na Piarsaigh. They defeated Ballygunner from the final two decades. “We had been on the opposite side of the draw two years ago, playing with Sixmilebridge and Thurles Sarsfields, such as Ballygunner were this season,” says O’Neill, “and we all found it of terrific benefit.” A win just like they had against Blackrock will cause him be concerned with Ballygunner coming via a route that is harder.
But the low-key start was paid for in their next calendar year, the team achieving success in winning a club title. The gift is reflected at Na Piarsaigh having won seven of their eight and also the last six in series. There’s not any surpassing winning an except for win it again. But winning Limerick is your main point and it’s not a given. Having won the they dropped the first two rounds of the neighborhood tournament, the round coming just six months after St Patrick’s Day.
For a team that went up to pitching that was a climb. “I recall going up on the rail (for the final) and they looked relaxed and we were concerned they might be overly comfy,” O’Neill recalls. “Then in the bus they were very quiet and we wondered were they overly silent. Nevertheless, they were just from the zone that day. I recall (linesman) Barry Kelly turned to myself and Kieran Birmingham, we had been standing on the sidelines together with him with roughly ten to go, and he said, ‘Ye can unwind today lads, ye have it’. We informed him where to go, ‘cos you just don’t know. And we weren’t there before.” Cushendall was defeated by them .
But the effort that was long told and two group defeats in Limerick supposed the progress that followed once they obtained a break in the summer wasn’t sufficient to recover the circumstance. “It was hard,” says O’Neill, “I recall saying before the initial round of this (2016 Limerick) championship to the direction, clearly not to the players, that I felt emotionally exhausted. I couldn’t imagine what the gamers felt like, since they had a physical tiredness too.”
They had been removed by August, the oldest as 2010. Although starting to make a mark in hurling while he hurled with Limerick, ” O’Neill’s club was a lightweight. He says the success is down to increased population together with terrific work by coaches within the last 30 years. It will not last. He understands that.
“Oh totally. I think that is what occurred the gamers, there was a realisation past year that, seem we’re in this place, we’re able to win more county names and hopefully go further, and I suppose not doing this past season, for various reasons, I think the penny maybe dropped with the long winter as well which, hold on a second, we will need to take every opportunity that comes our way.”
O’Neill is a partner in a company Sweeney-McGann Solicitors that’s also the sponsor of the team. His father, though a Clare native, spent several years involved with teams at the club that was only founded in 1968. This come what may. Attempting to find the most out of them and working with players is one of his aspects.
“Well, you are dealing with about 30 quite ambitious young guys who all want to perform and all wish to carry out. And you have of having the most out of every single one of 16, the psychology. Including the men that are not getting games and also are angry for actions, that sort of thing, to keep them all engaged. I think that has been created by us, with four or three fellas that have come because there is a realisation that men will be rewarded if they perform. We used 23 players from the tournament.
“They are all different. Different buttons will need to be pressed with guys. Before, we’ve got them only for five per cent of their time like, we have said to them. They have a enormous life outside of hurling. It is what they do if they’re unfamiliar with us. To be sure they care for themselves. However, our fellas are in good nick, they do care for themselves – generally.”
They are not a bunch to manage? “They are a tricky lot to manage. Because they’re all so ambitious and all of them want more.”
Two years ago Ballygunner and both Na Piarsaigh missed key players. O’Neill recognises that they’re currently facing a significant evaluation. “We’d played the last week (at 2015) against Thurles Sarsfields, they had been favourites for the All-Ireland in the time. I was quite impressed with Ballygunner and also I think they are better this season, the O’Mahonys (overlooking in 2015) really are a large addition. They are better; are we not or better? It is hard to tell; it’ll be very tight, I’d say.”
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