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Limerick's Mister Consistency Is Also Their Mister Modesty

Limerick's Mister Consistency Is Also Their Mister Modesty

The question stumps Seán Finn. "I don't know! I don't actually know," says the Limerick hurler, who's just been asked what he thinks were the things he did well this season to earn himself a Player of the Year nomination.

He considers it again: "I suppose... I don't know!"

Eventually, Finn suggests that it may have been his "consistency" which got him the nod, along with teammates Cian Lynch and Kyle Hayes.

The 25-year-old - now the gold standard for hurling cornerbacks - has been a model of reliability over the past four years. He's won three PwC All-Stars on the bounce, and chances are odds-on he'll get another when the 2021 awards are handed out next month.

"Do I consider myself at that level? I don't, to be fair. I think I have a lot more to do to put myself in the bracket of winning that [Hurler of the Year] title," he says modestly.

"Look, maybe it's something to aim towards. At the moment, I can see that I have a lot to improve on.

"I don't see myself in that bracket, that calibre of player, yet. It took me by surprise that I was nominated.

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"I suppose if you look back on previous winners, they're ordinarily pivotal positions on the field, up in the forwards or in midfield.

"Cornerbacks or fullbacks don't really get that recognition over the last number of years. In the cornerback club, we're happy to see someone representing that area."

Sean was speaking at the launch of the Local Enterprise Offices’ Student Enterprise Programme for 2021/22 at Desmond College in Limerick. This is the 20th year of the national programme that has seen over 300,000 secondary students take part in what is Ireland’s largest student enterprise programme. Over 25,000 students will take part this year with the final being held next May at the Helix in Dublin. More information on www.StudentEnterprise.ie. Picture: Cathal Noonan

 

The Bruff man - a three-time All-Ireland winner - says there are always areas of his game in which he is aiming to make improvements. Though, he's slow to let them be known. "I might get a point or two in the championship or a league game next year," he jokes.

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Decision-making on the ball, he feels, has been his area of greatest growth during his six years of involvement with the Limerick senior team.

"Over time, when you're playing in a position for so long, you pick up different tricks and experience stands to you," he says.

"I suppose over time decision-making is an important part of the game, especially when you are in a high-pressure environment whether that will be an All-Ireland or Munster final. That is obviously an important part of my game, composure on the ball.

"I suppose the mental strength of being able to deal with difficult situations on the field and how we deal with that has probably been a strong facet of our game over the last couple of years."

13 December 2020; Gearóid Hegarty, left, and Seán Finn of Limerick celebrate following the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final victory against Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
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Even in this year's 16-point victory over Cork, he knows there are times when he could have done better. Shane Kingston's fourth minute goal for Cork being one of them.

"I probably shot the gun a bit too soon and should have let him take his steps a bit more," Finn says.

"It is just stuff I do for every game, look back on elements of stuff in my game and see how I can improve the next day and that is just a snippet of where I could improve.

"I would be a bit critical of myself in that, but we had got a goal prior to that, we were in a good place. We knew Cork were going to come at us with everything they had in the first 10 - 15 minutes and we were prepared mentally and physically for that.

"We reacted really well, Peter (Casey) got a score. The cameras I don’t think even picked it up, but we got a score in a couple of seconds to bring it back to a two-point game. We reacted really well to that goal."

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Sean Finn looking forward to Limerick training return

One of the hopes for those aiming to take down Limerick next year is that success will diminish their motivation, but that does not seem to be the case with Finn.

"I’m actually really looking forward to going back training in early January and December," he says.

"The nature of fellas at the moment playing at the level we’re at, they kind of tip away doing their own bit in the gym or on the field - and just for their own mental health more so than wanting to be a better player.

"Yeah, there are times obviously in January and February when it’s raining and it’s dark, you are going to training and you mightn’t want to be there, but they are the kind of days you just have to push through and consider what might be down the line for you when you come to the summer months."

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sean finn limerick hurler of the year nomination

PJ Browne
Article written by
Kerryman. Write mostly about Gaelic games and athletics. Did not win a 2008 NBA title with the Boston Celtics.

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