Monday 26 September 2016

We're a much different team than 2012, insists Breen

Published 16/03/2016 | 02:30

Na Piarsaighs David Breen. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Na Piarsaighs David Breen. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

On the three occasions Na Piarsaigh emerged as champions of Limerick in their relatively brief history, they have been able to convert that success into a Munster title.

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But it was only this year's win over Oulart-The Ballagh that saw them progress past an All-Ireland semi-final for the first time. Like the 2012 semi, the game with Oulart went to extra-time - only this time they came out on the right side of it.

"It was a big relief (to beat Oulart)," agrees Na Piarsaigh's David Breen. "When you see it going to extra-time, you're just thinking over in your head, you're thinking back to Loughgiel (in 2012). You're just kind of thinking, 'Jesus'.

"But we're a very different team to the team that was there in 2012, so we had the stuff to come through it. And hopefully that kind of mental test will stand to us."

With Antrim opposition on the horizon again in tomorrow's All-Ireland decider, that All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Loughgiel comes up time and again.

Na Piarsaigh were talented but young and having just broken new ground for the club.

"We were on a crest of a wave really. Our big ambition was just to win the county. It was the first time in the club's history. So then the shackles were off so to speak. We were playing Munster, every game was we could just go out an express ourselves. Winning Munster was a dream come true.

"Probably our biggest downfall back then was managing the lay-off of nine or 10 weeks between winning Munster and preparing for the semi-final. Loughgiel were 100pc the better team than us on the day and to be honest even bringing it to extra-time was flattering enough for us.

"Liam Watson scored 0-16 that day, I think. Any team that allows a player to do that much damage doesn't deserve to go any further."

Between injuries and his work as a physio with Leinster rugby, Breen has had plenty of balls in the air.

Tomorrow, he'll look to make another piece of history for the club and in the process become the first club from Munster to win an All-Ireland title since Newtownshandrum in 2004.

However, Breen insists records and history won't have any influence on the outcome of tomorrow's game.

"That's irrelevant to me, and it's irrelevant to a lot of the players as well because Limerick people love to go on about history and voodoo and spells and all the rest, but that's nonsense. Our club has a history of 48 years old and that doesn't stand up to a lot of other clubs in Limerick but that's history, that's not now.

"We've got a good team and we're trying to achieve something and that's all that matters. The amount of teams that have played in Croke Park from Limerick, or won All-Ireland championships, doesn't really matter."

Irish Independent

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