Eamonn Meskell is focused on the positives ahead of Sunday’s Munster SHC clash between Limerick and Tipperary. The way he sees it, they’ve got plenty to lean on.
“From the start of the year we’ve played 15 or more games,” said the Limerick selector.
“We’ve had good competitive training sessions, we’ve a good bunch of lads. In the league we did relatively well, we came within a couple of points of Clare having played better than them on the night for most of the game.
“We’ve focused since then on the Tipperary game. There’s been no atmosphere of unrest or anything, we’ve been working away fine.”
They’ve got something else to focus on now, of course, since the return of the Tipp prodigal...
“It’s lovely to see Lar Corbett back,” said Meskell.
“I’d prefer to see him back against any other county rather than Limerick, though. At this stage I’d nearly like to see him starting, because if Tipperary start him against Limerick it means Tipp have their own difficulties. From that point of view the best of luck to him and we’ll take it as it comes.”
Meskell pays a warm tribute to manager John Allen: “His impact has been great. Like any new management team it takes a while to bed in, but certainly in the last few training sessions the impact has been immense from the point of view of confidence he’s instilled in the lads.
“He’s not doing it for them – he’s left it to them to do it for themselves, even though they’re being guided through the process. He’s a wise man, a fair man and a patient man. His experience has been more than beneficial to the panel, who have a nice bit of experience and some youth coming through.
“A John Allen-type of man was needed for Limerick at this stage, and he’s been hugely beneficial.”
Limerick have several young players who may figure in their forward line. Is Meskell worried they may not fire?
“These lads’ confidence and maturity amazes me – their attitude to training and games, to preparation, is first class. I think they’re in a good place, they have experience on the team alongside them to help them along.”
They can draw on Na Piarsaigh’s winning run in the Munster club championship at least, he adds.
“For the GAA on the northside of Limerick city that was a massive boost, and all over the county as well. Success brings its own atmosphere and that gave hope to a lot of clubs.
“In terms of the Limerick team that experience has benefited us, you could see that, the only thing was that when the Na Piarsaigh lads came in they’d been through a gruelling campaign and it took them a while to recover. But they’ve had the necessary preparation for this game, so it’s been entirely positive.”
One slight negative is the injury concern over young star Declan Hannon.
“From a training point of view, he’s fully capable, but the only thing that might come against him is a lack of match practice. He did play in the Waterford Crystal, and he’s been at the training sessions since then: he’s tuned in.”
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