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'07 Limerick Star Applauds John Kiely's Treatment Of 'Hype' Threat

'07 Limerick Star Applauds John Kiely's Treatment Of 'Hype' Threat

In the immediate aftermath of Limerick's All-Ireland semi-final defeat of Cork, there was a striking consistency to the message that made its way from different members within the panel to the watching public.

Be it Shane Dowling's on-pitch interview or John Kiely's post-match comments, a general call for calmness and consideration of the players loomed large. Although speaking to a national audience, their pleas appeared to have a distinctly local flavour to them.

It begged an immediate question; were the Limerick public more prone than most to getting overexcited at reaching an All-Ireland final, to the potential detriment of the team once they actually touched down in Croke Park to play the thing?

Released in the week after the county's semi-final win, a column in the Limerick Leader rubbished claims that the media contributed anything to the eventual performance of players on the pitch:

I do lament the fact some people cannot understand the words of the media have 0% to do with happens on the pitch.

If they are still looking for someone to blame, maybe try the mirror.

So, are Kiely & co right to be cautious in their request for privacy, or, as the article suggests, is the purpose of such a tactic to deflect from potential failure?

Speaking to Balls.ie, Andrew O'Shaughnessy, a pivotal player in the last Limerick team to reach an All-Ireland final in 2007, believes there to be some truth in Kiely's concerns.

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Looking back 11 years, O'Shaughnessy recalled the definite sense of 'hype' that surrounded their preparation:

In hindsight, it did effect a certain amount of us ... there was a few unveiling of shops and that, but it wasn't created by fans or anything, but from businesses trying to make hay while the sun shines.

Now, that's understandable from their point of view, but you'd like them to be more cognizant of the event itself and give the players a chance.

While O'Shaughnessy appreciated the possibility that was presented to the business people in question, he believes it is only "human nature" that such requests could harm a player's preparation.

Certain that the current regime have gotten out ahead of the problem in a manner that will negate the possibility of any such occurrence this time around, O'Shaughnessy remains confident that Limerick will reach Croke Park on All-Ireland final day as well prepared as they can possibly be.

See Also: Anthony Daly Took Direct Approach To 'Hate Mail' During His Clare Days

Arthur James O'Dea

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