Brian Horgan hoping for weekend double celebration in Tipperary

Brian Horgan hopes to be celebrating on the double tomorrow evening.

Brian Horgan hoping for weekend double celebration in Tipperary

Tipperary’s 1995 All-Ireland U21 winning captain has a vested interest in two of the four divisional finals down for decision in the Premier County.

His home club, Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams, will attempt to deny Éire Óg Annacarty three-in-a-row in the west at 2.30pm before Horgan heads to the north and an historic date for Templederry Kenyons in Nenagh at 5.30pm. They’re up against a fancied Kildangan in the local showpiece and Horgan is coach of the Templederry team that contains 2010 All-Ireland SHC medallist Gearóid Ryan, the current club captain.

Kildangan are going for a third north crown in seven years but with Horgan pulling the strings for Templederry on the training field, they can’t be written off.

“It will be huge,” the 39-year-old former Kerry coach admitted. Number one, it’s the club’s first north final and I only realised this year from being involved in north hurling how competitive the division is. There are 14 clubs in it and I’d say 10 of the 14 start out at the start of the year with serious hopes of winning.

“It’s fiercely competitive. We played Silvermines in the semi-final and Ballina in the quarter-final. They were equally as tough games as our earlier matches with Nenagh and Borrisoleigh.

“But it’s a huge ask for our boys, whole new territory for them. There’s a great buzz around the village. In fairness to the chairman, Alan Ryan, he got a lot of stuff out of the way early and in the last two weeks, we’ve been down to training with no distractions.

“They’re a great bunch to be involved with. A lot of them played county at some level from U16, minor, U21 and senior.

“My job when I got there was to try and blend it all together, and tell them how good they really are, and try to get it out of them on the day of the game.” In the West, Kickhams are hoping to end a barren spell that dates back to 2006, when Horgan captained the club’s last divisional winners in what proved Declan Ryan’s last game for Clonoulty-Rossmore.

“It’s a very long time,” admits Horgan, who was coach alongside manager William Maher when Tipperary claimed All-Ireland minor glory in 2012.

“In my own parish, they’re getting ready to put up banners and flags as well.

“It’s a great weekend for my family, with me being involved with Templederry and Kickhams in the West final. But, finals are there to be won. There’s a great build-up but players have to separate themselves from the buzz and get their heads around the job they have to do.

“I played a bit early in the season, a challenge two weeks ago but I didn’t get the time to commit to it at home. I’m not on the panel but I’m looking forward to watching them play before heading to the north final.

“It’s a busy weekend but it’s great to be part of these games, especially after the disappointment of Tipp’s defeat last Sunday. There’s something to look forward to again with lots of good players on show.”

In the Mid final, Thurles Sarsfields lock horns with Loughmore-Castleiney and in the South (6pm) and the South decider pits Mullinahone against Killenaule in Fethard (3.30pm).

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