Wednesday 22 May 2019

Gillane: I drive myself mad trying to perfect things

Limerick Hurler Aaron Gillaneat the launch of the 2019 John West Féile at Croke Park. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Limerick Hurler Aaron Gillaneat the launch of the 2019 John West Féile at Croke Park. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

If Aaron Gillane's reaction to watching back Limerick's comprehensive league final defeat of Waterford is anything to go by, any side meeting the Treaty should tread carefully.

Gillane was in sensational form, bagging 1-9 (1-5 from play), but it's his eight wides that he'll remember most and he was left "cringing" at the missed chances before immediately setting off with hurl in hand to rectify it.

"I was actually cringing watching it. I had eight wides and I was like, 'Jeez, how did he get man of the match in this?' Gillane said at the launch of the 2019 John West National Féile.

"But it was good because after every match you always have stuff to work on.

"So I watched it and threw on a pair of shorts and then went straight up to the field and hit a few shots.

"I'd drive myself mad trying to perfect things but it's good to have things to work on."

Perfection

They say perfection is unattainable but Gillane's first-half goal that day was as close as you can get with his beautiful flicked effort bringing back memories of Jimmy Barry-Murphy's overhead strike in Cork's 1983 All-Ireland semi-final defeat of Galway.

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The Patrickswell ace concedes there were some aspects of a "fluke" to his, although his words are better regarded as modesty rather than truth.

"Noel Connors was out in front of me, I was like, 'Jeez, he has this now and he's going to break it down in front of him'. I was actually going to run out to the side first and then Tom (Morrissey) was slow lifting his head," Gillane recalled.

"I don't know why he drilled the ball so hard either. It was all a fluke. He never hits the ball in like that, and Noel Connors is never going to miss the ball like that again either. It was just instinct and I was lucky I got a little touch on it."

Gillane's rise to become one of the game's most lethal attackers is all the more remarkable given that he was let go from the squad early on in John Kiely's first year in charge before being recalled a few months later.

"John Kiely called me in for the winter and I was wondering myself might people be raising eyebrows, that 'he couldn't start with the U-21s last year'.

"I went in, gave it a shot. Look, it didn't work out but John said, 'go away and play Fitzgibbon'.

"I'd one of two options, feel sorry for myself, or go away and put in a few good performances with Mary I.

"Thankfully I did that and a few weeks after I won the Fitzgibbon Cup, John brought me back in."

The confidence which Kiely has shown in him has been reciprocated with his performances on the pitch and the 23-year-old is keen for this young Treaty side to cement their own place in history.

"Even the build-up to the final last year, all the talk was about '73 (their last All-Ireland-winning team before 2018), it never affected our panel anyway. Maybe it was great for people to talk about it but we took no notice of it.

"Like I keep saying, '73, fair play to them, the team that got to the All-Ireland final in 2007, fair play to them like, but they've nothing to do with us.

"I know it sounds so bad like but we don't care about them. We want to create our own history. They have nothing to do with us."

Irish Independent

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