The Seán Óg Murphy Cup last resided in the Glen back in 1989 and Kelleher yesterday lamented the fall from power of the city club.
“It is just a population thing,” Kelleher said of Glen Rovers’ slump in Cork hurling’s pecking order.
“When I played minor 22 years ago we had three minor teams here in the Glen. Now we have 25 young lads for the one minor team. It is a population thing. It is an older area now. Going back to when I was young and up the hill there would be kids everywhere playing hurling.
“They don’t seem to be there now and to get them down to the pitch is tough because there are a lot of distractions there.
“The club should be thanked and congratulated for keeping the show on the road because at times it did look very bleak. It is just to get the kids down. This week is a huge bonus. You see outside the lights are on, it is a bad night and yet there are kids out hurling a sliotar.
“Last Monday night we had 100 kids down because they thought we were training. That is what you want.
“We need to grasp the kids while we have them. Success breeds success.”
He added: “Twenty-five years later here we are. It has been a very long wait. We have felt the wait at times. It has been tough. We are like every other club in that we kept trying. We all want it, but only one team can lift the County Cup each year.
“We have had some bad teams, we have had some good teams here, but there are no guarantees. We have had a bit of luck this year and seem to have a bit of momentum.”
Glen Rovers lost out to Sarsfields in their last final appearance back in 2010 and Kelleher maintains the team have matured in the interim four years.
“We have a lot of the same team from 2010. Lads are now older and wiser. We have a greater balance now. There is no dependency on one man. There is no sole dependency on Patrick Horgan.
“Four or five of the older lads are driving it on, but the younger lads now are contributing, doing their bit and more.
“The hurt from 2010 will not be enough because hunger alone will not be sufficient to get past Sars.”