The Dingle school came agonisingly close to qualifying for their first Hogan Cup final last year but lost by a point (0-10 to 0-9) to Ulster champions St Michael’s, Enniskillen.
The Munster champions can also draw on the considerable experience of their management team. County boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice – who flies in from Kerry’s training camp in Portugal today – is in his first year managing the team, while his former team-mate, Tommy Griffin, is also a member of the backroom brains trust.
PS Chorca Dhuibhne impressed in defeating Kerry rivals, St Brendan’s College, Killarney, in the Munster decider (1-15 to 1-8) and will look to Eanna Ó Conchúir, Cathal Ó Luing and Pádraig Ó Conchúir for inspiration in today’s game.
The goal for PS Chorca Dhuibhne this year, according to five-time All-Ireland medal winner Griffin, was to emulate and surpass last year’s achievements.
“We want to go one step further than last year. That’s the goal, as it has been since the start of the year. The players have shown a great appetite, a great hunger, and are keen to do just that,” he said.
“We are back at the same position this year as last year. A lot of work has gone into it and we’re glad to have another crack at it.”
The Dingle publican credited the players for successfully defending their Corn Uí Mhuirí crown and negotiating their way back to the national semi-final.
“What the players have now is the experience of last year behind them. They’ve kicked on and lads have approached it in a real professional manner.
“The management have tried to raise the bar another bit and tried to push it on. Hopefully that will get us over the line.”
Declaring a clean bill of health for his squad, Griffin acknowledged the considerable challenge that faces his team from Colm O’Rourke’s school.
“These guys (St Patrick’s) are good. Any team at this stage are going to be good. There are no easy games from here on in,” he said.
“They have a lot of experience and tradition. That’s something they will always have over the likes of us. They would expect to be there every year, winning Leinster finals and winning Hogan Cups,” added Griffin.
Tradition is one thing; omens are another, and if they are to be considered then they are good for PS Chorca Dhuibhne – St Patrick’s have lost their last two Hogan Cup semi-finals against Kerry teams, Tralee CBS (2007) and St Brendan’s (2010).