When we won the All-Ireland with Clare in 1995, the following year’s league kicked off that October. The celebrations obviously took their toll early in the campaign. We lost our first match to Kerry but the bank of fitness we’d built up stood to us as October segued into November. We went up to Birr and put on an exhibition against Offaly in our last match before the winter-break.
Every year, the confirmed Fitzgibbon Cup panels read more and more like a who’s who of the inter-county game. Hurling is as much a student’s game these days as a young man’s one. So among our ones to watch in this year’s competition (which begins Sunday) there will be familiar names but to a man, they have points to prove.
Just shy of 20 minutes in Seamus Flanagan’s company is enough to understand the flame still burns in Limerick. The bonfires that heralded last August’s All-Ireland triumph have long since been extinguished but within these young men there remains a fury.