Limerick’s All-Ireland U21-winning half-back Gearóid Hegarty has expressed his desire to play both hurling and football for the county at senior level.
Hegarty, who captained the Limerick U21 footballers this spring and lined out at midfield on John Brudair’s senior team, rounded off a “dream” debut season in a Limerick hurling shirt on Saturday evening, putting in a solid shift at left half-back as the Treaty County swept to a first U21 crown in 13 years.
The rangy St Patrick’s player is over age for U21 in 2016 but has revealed his ambition to continue as a dual player at senior level.
Cork trio Eoin Cadogan, Aidan Walsh and Damien Cahalane were the last players to adopt a dual mandate when lining out for both county teams in 2014.
“It’s something I can look back on and say I did it, but I don’t think I have any intention of doing it again for the coming year or for the rest of my career. Overall, this year was very difficult,” said Walsh when announcing at the end of 2014 that he would be focusing solely on hurling this year.
Hegarty is not sure if the dual mandate is still feasible at senior level such are the growing demands on inter-county players. But he wants to at least attempt the challenge.
“I would love to play senior hurling and football for Limerick. I don’t know if it can be done. If it was up to me, I would love to be able to play both,” he admitted.
“If I have to make a choice, it is a great choice to make. I am where I am now because of the footballers.
“Fellas like John Brudair and Declan Brouder, all these lads have been great to me. I would love if I could play the both. We’ll see.
“We are after winning the All-Ireland. We are after doing what we wanted to do. In a few months I will let the other people decide for me.”
Their 0-26 to 1-7 annihilation of Wexford secured Limerick a first All-Ireland hurling crown since 2002. The county needed this win, he insisted.
“Limerick needed this big time. The last U21 win is 13-years ago. That is a long time.
“Hopefully, it is the first of many titles. It is great to get an All-Ireland. That is something they can never take away from us.
“This was the perfect end to the perfect year. And I now have a medal to give back to my Dad (former Limerick hurler Ger Hegarty) after throwing his U21 medal out the window all those years ago when I was a child.
“It was just one of those nights where everything worked for us. We definitely weren’t that much better than Wexford, but everything just fell for us and went for us.
“I know they had a goal disallowed, like us, but we definitely could have had two goals. Everything just went to plan. Everything we worked on came to pass.
“The scenes at the end where the people were on the sideline was something else.
“Even driving in to Thurles through the crowds, there was a real atmosphere. You could feel the buzz getting off the bus.
“The crowd was unbelievable. Both stands were nearly full. They are the days you want to be involved in. It was unbelievable. The 60 minutes is where it all counts and thank God we got it done.”
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