As the Clare bus made its way through Thurles on Sunday morning, Eoghan Gunning looked out at the cars lining the streets.
Previously, he'd been the one waving at the bus as it drove into Semple Stadium. Now he was the one waving back.
"We actually got stuck in traffic going into Thurles, only a minute away," he says.
"I look out the window and see my two cousins with a sign saying, 'Come on the Banner and come on Eoghan'. All the lads saw it then and were laughing and joking. It was great craic going in."
Clare went into the game as Munster champions, a year on from losing the provincial decider to Tipperary on penalties and an All-Ireland semi-final to Offaly. Eight of that team returned this year.
"We learnt a lot of things," says Gunning. "There was that bit of pain, hurt, and you don't want to feel that again."
It was a strongly fancied Galway side which Clare faced, one which had destroyed all before them on their journey to the final. Fergal Healy's team had won their previous six games by an average of 16 points.
Though Galway scored two goals in the opening 13 minutes, Clare always returned serve. They led by a point at the break and eventually won 2-22 to 4-11.
Clare lost fullback Ronan Keane at half-time. Another setback, but again, it didn't phase them. "Ronan had a few words to say to us at half-time to drive us on," says Gunning.
That the injury didn't trip them up is a testament to the depth of the Clare panel, as is having a remarkable 12 scorers in the final, four of them coming off the bench.
It is also perhaps down to the work they'd done on the mental side of the game with Clare senior hurler Paul Flanagan.
"We would have done sports psychology stuff with Paul Flanagan," says Gunning.
"That helped us a lot. He broke things down. He's been there on those big days. He has a lot of experience and we have a lot of respect for him.
"He would have talked to us about things that we can't control - just let them out of your head, it doesn't matter. The weather, the ref, the crowd - you can't control those things so you don't need to worry about them. Focus on things that you can control and you'll get over the line.
"You have to play in the moment. Goals happen. He would have said to us to have a trigger, to tap your hurley or something, or have something in your head to say when things don't go your way. We did that and pushed on. We got points after their goals that cancelled it out.
"We'd done a few bonding days. We did one in Shannon with Paul. We just had a chat, got to know about each other's lives. We went to Lahinch for a swim and a game of soccer.
"We've all got really close over the few months. When you're doing that training five nights a week with them for months and months - tough training too - you realise that we're all in the same boat. We have great craic too. Some of the lads are my best friends."
For Gunning, two moments after the final whistle standout. He met his mother Bernie and uncle PJ - a two-time All-Ireland winner with Clare in the 1990s better knowns as Fingers - on the pitch after the game. He suspects they shouldn't have been there.
"I met my mother and Uncle PJ before I went up the steps and that was quite emotional, hugging my mother," says Gunning.
"She was only worried about the cuts I had on me! She wasn't too worried about anything else.
"The second one was the dressing room after. The feeling in there was amazing, celebrating with all the lads - we'd worked so hard for it.
"It was mindblowing to come back to Broadford and see the turnout that came to support us. People from Broadford and not from Broadford.
"We're all from small parishes - All-Ireland medals haven't been back there. Just to see everyone's reaction has been great. All the locals in Broadford are loving it. All the children."
Gunning finished the game as TG4's Man of the Match, just as he had been in the Munster final victory over Cork. It was remarkable considering last year with the Clare minors was his first time playing in the backs.
"From U6 all the way up to now, with my club, I played in the forwards. For the school as well, I'd never played in the backs," he says.
"The lads in the club couldn't get over me playing in the backs. They thought it was strange altogether, and the same with the school.
"Being a forward, you know how forwards think and the little tricks they'd have up their sleeves. The lads last year helped me a lot, giving me tips and telling me what to do. In training as well, they'd go through different scenarios.
"I don't mind where I'm playing. I'd play anywhere for them, that management team."
Gunning hopes that he gets another chance to work with manager Brian O'Connell and his backroom team in the future.
"He instils that confidence in us," he says.
"He told us, I think it was before we played Cork in round four, that he thought we were going to win the All-Ireland.
"He had the confidence to say that to us, that he knew it wouldn't get to our heads, and we'd just take it in our stride. He had a great management team with him as well.
"They gave us that platform to succeed. They gave us excellent gym coaches. We had Paul (Flanagan) working with us. We had gotten nutritional advice as well. It all ties into making everyone grow at that standard.
"Two years, two Munster finals, we've won one; an All-Ireland semi-final last year, and an All-Ireland final this year.
"Hopefully he stays involved with Clare hurling because him and the whole management team are working wonders. I hope it's not the last time that we work together."
Sunday's victory was Clare's first title at minor hurling level since 1997, and just the second time ever that the Irish Press Cup has gone back to the county. Gunning feels there's no reason next year's team can't win the Banner's third title.
"The standard has to be very high if you want to win an All-Ireland final," he says.
"You could say the standard wasn't there a couple of years ago. A lot of work went on underage to get Clare hurling back up.
"Lads can push on next year as well. There's three of the lads that will be playing again next year, and hopefully, they can push on and try to do back-to-back - why not. That's the confidence you should have."