The Carrigaline manager says the shackles have been thrown off in the wake of last month’s Premier IFC final win over St Michael’s, a victory which secured the club’s senior status for the first time.
Attention has now switched to different peaks and while tomorrow’s Munster semi-final against Limerick champions Oola represents unchartered territory, Meaney isn’t inclined to give the ‘bonus territory’ line.
“The lads have expressed themselves really well in training since the county final win. Even the atmosphere, it has been very good all year but after the county final there was something lifted off their shoulders, they are going around and they are in confident mood. The buzz around Carrigaline, especially among the older generation, is fantastic. It is what dreams are made of. To think that we are playing senior football in 2016 is fantastic.
“It is just after lifting everyone in the club, the younger generation too. All the kids are going around with the tops on, are coming down to watch training and taking note to see what is going on.
“It is great now for the younger lads that they can aspire to play senior football in a couple of years’ time. The goodwill towards the team for the Munster series has been fantastic.” In his first season back in the bainisteoir’s bib last year, Meaney steered the club’s flagship team to promotion from Division 4 of the County League and Tom Creedon Cup success.
“We started training for the 2014 campaign in November of 2013. We always said whatever competition we were involved in, so long as there is a trophy up for grabs, we will give it everything. That criteria and that mindset hasn’t changed since the county final win.” Blocking their path to a debut Munster final appearance are Oola, the Limerick side scoring a 1-10 to 1-6 win over Ballinameela of Waterford in the provincial quarter-final.
“Three of my management team travelled down to Dungarvan and threw the eye over them, they told me to take the day off. They impressed, obviously. They are a very strong team. You are playing against teams now that have won their county. It is a whole new territory. We are coming across a team we have never come across before and sometimes that is a good thing, we don’t know their players and they don’t know us.” One recognisable figure in opposition is U21 hurler of the year Richie English. “They spotted a good corner-forward down there and I believe he is that man. He is lively and a good footballer.” Meaney added: “The chances are we won’t be in Munster for a long time and this is an opportunity that we really want to go for.”