It’s a decade since Limerick, managed by Liam Kearns at the time, stormed Páirc Uí Chaoimh to inflict a ten-point defeat on the Rebels.
Since then, Limerick have remained competitive in Munster, despite not registering an elusive provincial success. But O’Sullivan insists Limerick have no fear of Cork and recent results back up his assertion.
In 2008, Limerick lost by just three points against Cork in the Munster semi-final, before they went down by just a single point against the Leesiders in the 2009 provincial showpiece.
And in 2010, Limerick ran Cork to extra-time in the All-Ireland qualifiers at the Gaelic Grounds, with the Rebels ending the season as champions.
Current Kerry minor boss O’Sullivan insisted: “This will be closer than people think. These Limerick lads believe in themselves. They believe they’re as good as Cork and that’s half the battle.
“The year Cork won the All-Ireland, we met them in the back door. We drew and the game went to extra-time. They beat us by a point and went on to win the All-Ireland. We had been beaten by Kerry in the Munster final by three points.
“In my second year involved we were beaten well. I felt we played naive football. We didn’t play defensive enough. But after that we got very close. We were getting nearer and nearer to them. I think if Limerick had a full team, they could pull it off but Ian Ryan is a loss.”
O’Sullivan worked with current Limerick boss Maurice Horan when he was in charge and he believes that the addition of Michael McGeehan to his backroom team was a real masterstroke.
McGeehan, Director of Coaching Ireland, is enjoying his second spell with Limerick, having previously been involved with O’Sullivan.
“Mickey McGeehan would have brought another edge to this Limerick team. I started some of those current Limerick players when they were 18 but those lads have grown up now.”
But O’Sullivan fears that Limerick’s lack of exposure to top quality games on a more consistent basis could prove their undoing.
“These guys have a disadvantage playing in Division 4. If they were playing in Division 1, or even Division 2, they would expect to win because they would be used to playing Sunday after Sunday, and at a high level.”