John Mullane loves his county, but he loves his club too…
There is a sense in the south-east that this Sunday is a day 58 years in the making. Waterford have not won the All-Ireland hurling title since 1959, and their supporters have had enough waiting after years of hurt.
The fans have stuck to this team through thick and thin, and despite boasting some remarkable players over the last 20 years, the Déise have not yet been able to reach their Promised Land.
One of the best hurlers of the modern era, John Mullane says he can’t have too many regrets with his inter-county career, but is willing his countymen on, come Sunday.
“On matchday with big crowds there and the atmosphere building, you get goosebumps.
“But I’m content with what I’ve done for Waterford, and it’s the lads’ time now. We’re all just fully behind them.
“To see the colour around, that the people of Waterford bring to the city and the county, they really grow into the atmosphere. It’s great for the young kids, and the older generation too. We don’t get there too often, so we’ve got to make the most of it.”
His club, De La Salle, offer several players to this Waterford team, including Jake Dillon, Stephen Daniels, Shane McNulty and captain Kevin Moran. Mullane feels that it would trump all the club’s achievements, including their Munster triumphs in 2008 and 2010, if Moran were to lift the cup on Sunday.
“The club itself, within the last 10/15 years, we’ve achieved an awful lot. The club has grown year by year, and if Kevin were to climb the steps of the Hogan Stand, and to bring the cup back here on Tuesday, it would eclipse everything the club has achieved the last 10/20 years.”
This is a powerful watch…
Make sure to check out the latest episode of The 16th Man, where we hear from Mícheál Donoghue as we preview the All-Ireland final.