All-Ireland champions, Limerick go into this weekend’s Allianz Hurling League final looking to bridge a 22-year gap since their last success in 1997.
It’s something that is becoming a familiar narrative with John Kiely’s men just seven months after they ended a 45-year wait for the Liam MacCarthy Cup.
However, star forward, Aaron Gillane says this Limerick side aren’t worried about bridging gaps or ending famines as the teams of old have nothing to do with them. They’re just focused on creating their own history.
“Once people mention Limerick now, people think about years and time gaps and stuff. I think since John and Paul came in, I think this is their third year and we’re taking it as this is our team for the last three years.” said Gillane at today’s Allianz Hurling League final launch.
“The last 22 years Limerick teams couldn’t win the league, that’s nothing to do with us. We’re kind of focusing on ourselves and making our own history.”
Limerick have blazed a trail through Division 1A in 2019 which surprised many who expected a slight hangover from August’s All-Ireland success.
It was also Limerick’s first Division 1A campaign in nine seasons and Gillane feels they wanted to make it count, the opportunity of playing the nation’s top sides in the build-up to the championship.
“Yeah look it we were in 1B for long enough. We wanted to get up to 1A and really test ourselves.
“As well as that we wanted to enjoy it and make sure we were able to play against the top teams before coming into the championship but at the end of the day Sunday there’s a national title up for grabs, we’re taking it as a huge match anyway, I’m sure Waterford are the same because it is a very important competition.”
John Kiely’s charges have clearly carried last year’s form into 2019 and so far have looked the most impressive team in the Allianz Hurling League with their single slip-up coming against Cork.
Gillane admits it was disappointing to have that one defeat on the record, but there’s no point worrying about a defeat, instead, they look at what they did well.
“Obviously, it was disappointing to lose a match. Even after the matches you win, you go back training and have things to work on. You do the video analysis, we worked out what we have to improve on.
“There’s no point being stuck worrying about a loss, negativity is going to start creeping in – that’s one thing we don’t want.
“That game too, we did do some good things. We focused on that too, it wasn’t all bad.Cork got the win. We knew we had to up our game and come back to where we are now. I think we’ve done that and hopefully we can kick on a bit now on Sunday.”
As they look forward to a league final on Sunday, followed by the defence of their All-Ireland crown, Gillane is adamant that the Treaty men are not worried about having a target on their backs, their only concern is testing themselves.
“I wouldn’t really pay much attention to that. I suppose it’s big for them as well. If they are seeing us as last year’s champions, they kind of want to test themselves against the top teams.
“Last year is last year now and it was great winning but we’re not worrying about that anymore. There’s four or five teams that we want to be testing ourselves against to see where we stand.”