Limerick manager John Kiely upbeat on Treaty fitness

Limerick defender Declan Hannon should be fit for Sunday’s Munster SHC clash with Waterford, says manager John Kiely.

The Limerick boss said the centre-back — and others in the camp — had fallen victim to a tummy bug in the run-up to last Saturday’s game with Cork, which was why he was withdrawn so early.

Declan is fine. He was sick, we had an issue last week with a tummy bug in the camp, a number of players and management had it.

“He had flagged to us that he wasn’t feeling great and he wasn’t happy with his warm-up. We said to give it five or ten minutes, to see how he was, and he just didn’t have the energy. That was it. He’s had two good days now.

“It was just one of those things, what can you do? You just have to cope with it, and the players did. Declan is fine, he trained last night and we have 36 fit players, thank God.

“We were lucky it (the bug) happened early in the week, so we had a few days clear, but at the same time you’d be concerned that fellas might be brewing it.

“It is what it is. You don’t know if it’s something they ate or just a bug they came across, but it happened. There’s no point in complaining about it.” When Kiely was asked about defender Richie English’s ribs after the Cork game the Limerick boss said he was thinking of releasing a photograph of English’s injury.

I think they were barbecued over the weekend,” joked Kiely.

“I didn’t (release the picture), I might do that another day. But he’s fine.”

Next Sunday Limerick take on Waterford, who drew with Tipperary last weekend in the Gaelic Grounds, though many observers had given them little chance with their catalogue of injuries.

“Waterford were written off in certain quarters, but I wouldn’t have written them off, I fancied them to put in a really strong performance.

“We know from the U21 grade the quality of player they have coming through in recent grades. I wasn’t surprised they put themselves in the position they did — we played them a number of times last year and they didn’t get to the All-Ireland final by accident last year.

“They were there on merit and if they hadn’t been missing some players through suspension and injury it would have been even closer than it was.

They’re a top class side, that’s the bottom line, and we’ll be treating them with the utmost respect.” Kiely acknowledged that Waterford’s formation was a little more orthodox last weekend than it has been in recent years.

“I came to watch the game last Sunday obviously and there was a difference in the way they set up last Sunday and at times in previous years.

“At the same time a number of their players didn’t go too far forward, they minded the house. They’re difficult to break down, as Tipperary found. They’re defensively strong and they have pace up front, so they’re a formidable unit. It has the makings of a great game.”

Regarding the umpiring decision which gave Tipperary a goal when the ball didn’t cross the goal-line, Kiely was relatively reticent: “Derek (McGrath, Waterford manager) expressed his own views on that and I’d leave it to him to speak on his own behalf. We’ve enough to do to comment on the incidents that happen in our own games.

“But you never like to see a decision go that’s completely and utterly not right. I think it’s been well dealt with since last Sunday, that’s what I’d say.”

Regarding decisions made in the Limerick-Cork game, Kiely said he expected forward Aaron Gillane to serve a one-game suspension. Gillane got a straight red card for striking a Cork defender with his hurley.

“And it was a red card,” said Kiely.

“Obviously everything is delayed a day because of the bank holiday, and we’ll find out (about the suspension) in due course.

He’ll just have to serve his suspension and that’s it, then come back and go again. He’ll have a lot to prove when he comes back, and there’ll be plenty of hard work to get on with.

“He’ll learn from it. He’s going to get that attention now, he’s a marquee forward and he was always going to draw attention, as every forward does. And if you’re a decent full-back line you’ll give that attention.

“That’s just part and parcel of the game. He reacted, and he shouldn’t have reacted, but that’s it. He learns from it and moves on. I’m hoping it’s just a one-game suspension as he has a very good disciplinary record. He’s never been sent off before and I think that’ll stand to him.

“It wasn’t a vicious belt. It wasn’t the worst belt in the world.”


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