LIMERICK’S Seamus Hickey insists he was right to quit inter-county hurling in 2010.
After then manager Justin McCarthy dropped 12 players from the panel in October 2009, many of the remaining players, including Hickey, withdrew their services. As an experimental Limerick side, under McCarthy’s stewardship, lurched from one crisis to another, Hickey spent the summer months in Boston.
He recalled: “There was nobody forcing me to sit it out. It was a choice I made, a choice I had to make peace with.
“I didn’t say off the top of my head one morning that I was going to pull out and see what happens. I thought about what it would mean to me sitting watching for a year. As the championship came on, I got the itch and a bit of regret set in but I parked it then and said, ‘I’m doing what I resolved to do’ and I was happy with that.”
Hickey admitted: “It was a difficult decision. My ambition since I was knee high was to wear the green and white. But I stood up for something I believed in. I had stood shoulder to shoulder with many of the great men to wear Limerick jerseys over the last 10 years and I felt the treatment we were getting and the deal we were dealt wasn’t fair.
“It wasn’t on to give a year of my life to something I didn’t believe in.”
But the arrival of Donal O’Grady as Limerick’s new manager in September of last year heralded a new start for Hickey and other exiled players.
“When we went away, there was no guarantee for anybody who made that decision that we would ever come back. You had that hanging over you. I got the letter inviting me to trials in mid-October. That was a new beginning. It was a question of looking forward rather than looking back.”
The immediate goal with Limerick is to reclaim top flight National League status with victory against Clare on Saturday. He insisted: “I believe we are a Division One team. We didn’t cruise through Division Two. There were tough patches and tough games but we are where we wanted to be at the start of the year, in the final. It’s in our own hands how we perform against Clare.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved