Moran glad to look back to the future

HAVING dismissed the challenge of Down and garnered their first league points, Limerick hurling captain Ollie Moran is anxious to leave the recent managerial controversy behind and concentrate on the future.

If all goes to plan, that future will include all or most of the six dual players, whose exclusion contributed to the eventual departure of manager Padjoe Whelahan.

“We’d love to see them back. The unfortunate thing for Limerick is they’re up against the likes of Cork and Kerry in hurling and football, two counties with a bigger pool of players.

“It was a difficult situation, and still is, but we need those players. An arrangement would have to be agreed to suit everyone concerned, but to suit the players themselves especially.”

It wasn’t just the dual-player controversy however, that brought the crisis to a head, nor was it any personality clash between management and players. It was a lot simpler.

“I don’t think we had a problem with management, fellas got on well with Padjoe, he’s a really nice fella, but we just felt we needed to be doing a lot more than we were. We weren’t doing enough hurling, not doing enough on tactics, and that’s changing now, that was put right last week.

“It will be tested even more next week, but having the boys back will add a lot to it.”

It must be a relief to be back talking about hurling, as opposed to off-field distractions.

“It is, we didn’t see any press after yesterday’s win, which was a big relief.

“I’m not coming down on the press, they have a job to do, and we have given them too much ammunition over the last few years, although I feel the local media in Limerick didn’t help the situation with their coverage.”

Ironically, given the doom and gloom surrounding Limerick hurling, they could still qualify for the top section of the league.

“Yeah, the same thing happened last year, we lost our first two games, to Cork and Tipp as well, were hammered by Tipp, but we got through eventually by virtue of the fact that we hammered Antrim, beat Offaly and Wexford.

"It’s still all to play for, and 4-25 against Down is a good score, it could yet be an important score.”

Meanwhile, Kilkenny champions James Stephens have named an unchanged side from that which defeated O’Donovan Rossa (Antrim) for Thursday’s AIB All-Ireland club hurling final against Athenry.

JAMES STEPHENS (SH v Athenry) F. Cantwell; D. Cody, M. Phelan, D. Grogan; J. Tyrrell, P. Larkin, P. Barry (capt); P. O’Brien, B. McEvoy; J. Murphy, E. Larkin, G. Whelan; E. McCormack, R. Hayes, D. McCormack.

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