The first of the two biggest annual events in Irish sport takes place this Sunday as Galway and Limerick go toe-to-toe in the All-Ireland Hurling Final. Two weeks later, Tyrone will be tasked with the difficult job of preventing Dublin winning their fourth All-Ireland Football title in a row.
With so much riding on both games, how does a player prepare for such a monumental day in their own career as well as the lives of their family, friends and neighbours?
This is just one of the topics discussed in the latest episode of The Forty-Five podcast by Eamon Fennell, Ross McConnell and this week’s guest, former Dublin hurler Dodsy O’Callaghan.
Addressing the eleven-year barren spell since Limerick’s last hurling final appearance, Fennell and McConnell reminisce on the build-up to Dublin’s final appearance in 2011, which was the first showpiece appearance for the Boys in Blue in 16 years.
Ross spoke of how the squad were hidden away fromm the outside world, saying:
“Do you remember Pat (Gilroy) brought us the week before the All-Ireland Final and we were basically just in a cocoon…”
While Eamon adds…
“We rehearsed everything from getting collected, going to UCD, even stuff like the march around and the President coming out. We had someone simulate the President!
While the game this weekend is a whole different ball game, Dodsy reckons that the Limerick players could benefit from a similar process coming up against a Galway team with experience of playing in, and winning, last year’s final.
You can listen to the full discussion below.