Ahead of today’s Munster hurling final, one of the most important men in this fixture talks about the lead up to the biggest day in his calendar.
Head groundsman at Semple Stadium, David Hanley, has been putting the finishing touches to the already immaculate surface in Thurles which was named 2017 pitch of the year earlier this week.
With the help of a wider team, including his three children and former Tipperary hurler Pa Bourke, Semple Stadium, with a capacity of 53,000, is ready to welcome the sellout Munster final clash.
Today will see both of the stadium’s terraces and stands filled, with the venue providing four dressing rooms, two referee rooms, a drugs room and VIP facilities.
“People wouldn't appreciate and don't appreciate how big the place is,” said Mr Hanley.
Mr Hanley described the preparation as “a huge undertaking” and “a huge commitment”.
“You're doing it for players,” he said.
After his hard work in preparing for the big day, Mr Hanley will be able to relax after the 4pm throw-in.
“Once the game is on there’s a certain element of relief because at that stage there is no more that can be done,” he said.
Speaking of his love for the job he said he couldn’t ask for a better place to be and even has approval from his mother.
“Sure my mam thinks this is the bee’s knees like,” he said.
Throw-in for today’s Cork V Clare Munster final is 4pm and will be shown live on RTÉ One.
Credit to Paul Cahill for producing the above video.