TOMMY SOMERS is of Kilkenny timber. His parents hailed from the Marble city.
Tommy grew up amid the folk-Nore. He admired the daring deeds of black and amber Gods like John Power and DJ Carey.
Tommy has become quite an icon himself at Lucan Sarsfields, who will meet Ballyboden St Enda's in Sunday's Dublin Senior Hurling Championship final at Parnell Park (3.0). Tommy has lost count of the number of years he has been wearing the shirt of the senior Sars. But one stat is clear – this is Lucan's first senior championship final.
"It's a massive step for the club," he admits.
But he's determined to lock away all the excitement in the bottom drawer.
"There's a good buzz in the club, but we'll have to ignore all of that. We have a game to play.
"Enjoying the day is for the supporters, but, as players, we'll just have to try and forget about the occasion. We have a job to do. We have 60 minutes to focus on. And we will aim to block out everything else."
Tommy has perfected the art of concentration when the sliotar is in the ring. From play and from frees, he can send it speeding through the letter-box.
He has been a consistent, cultured presence on the top floor of Dublin hurling for quite a spell now. And, like his colleagues, he knows the regret of semi-final defeats.
Regrets – Lucan have had a few. He says the worst one of all was four years ago against Craobh Chiaráin. Lucan lost by a point. That type of experience stood to us. Our semi-final against Chiaráin's this time was a similar type of game. It was tight. Many of us had played against them in 2009, and that certainly helped us, especially in the second half when they were coming back at us.
"We have been to so many semi-finals over the years, and we have come away heart-broken. It was nice for a change to come out on the right side of the semi-final result."
Making the knock-out stages wasn't a road that was paved with roses. Lucan's group included O'Toole's, Cuala and the Craobh. Not a free lunch in sight.
"It was a tough group. For us, it all came down to our last mach against Cuala.
"We could have been gone. It was that close. O'Toole's and Cuala lost out.
"The group could have gone any way. But once we got the result that put us through, we drove on and we got a bit of momentum.
"We then got over Crumlin in the quarter-final. That was another difficult test, but it prepared us well for our meeting with Craobh.
"We are all just delighted to have got to the final, but we have no interest in just making up the numbers. We are in it to win it."