Dan Shanahan has always been modest throughout the successes which have come in his hurling career – and the Waterford selector’s latest praise of his brother Maurice exemplifies this.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, the 40-year-old talked about what it is like to oversee the selection of a panel, which includes his brother, admitting that at times his brother has not been overly delighted not to make the starting fifteen.
“He’s probably known at the moment as the impact sub if I’m being honest. Does he like it? No, he doesn’t.”
Maurice has made a significant impact from the bench this campaign – scoring the game-killing goal to see off Kilkenny whilst causing havoc when entering the fray against Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Going on to speak of the changes in the game of hurling over the last few years, the 2007 Hurler of the Year paid his younger brother the ultimate compliment. Whilst watching the Munster final of 1998 last week the Lismore man noted a change in the times.
“The change in physicality is something else, the speed of the hurling. How times have changed. Maurice is way better than I was, way more skilful than I was. Did I get lucky in some of the games? Probably did.”
Saying that Maurice is much better than himself is a compliment of the highest order – given that many in Ireland regard Dan as one of the greatest forwards to have never lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup. The talismanic Lismore native won four All-Stars as well as three Munster titles in a wonderful 15-year inter-county career with the Déise.
The pair are part of a unique number of siblings to have both won All Stars – and are the only duo from Waterford to have ever done so.
Like everybody in Waterford, the Shanahans are hoping that they can end the famine on Sunday for those who have gone on before them without seeing an All-Ireland title.
“People have passed away that have given a lifetime to the GAA that are looking down on us. Please God we’ll get a result for them.”
An All-Ireland winner’s medal has so far proved elusive in the Shanahan household but if anyone believes that Maurice can make history on Sunday then it’s his older brother.
Whether it’s from the bench or the first whistle, Maurice will likely have his say on the outcome.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena