Hype not a big concern but Limerick must finish job - Quaid
Having spent three years at underage level working with a lot of the current Limerick senior hurling squad, it's no surprise to Joe Quaid that they're blazing a trail through Munster as "they were always winners".
Quaid looked after the development of the likes of Seán Finn, Cian Lynch and Tom Morrissey from U-14 to U-16 - winning the U-16 All-Ireland title along the way - and the former Treaty goalkeeper always knew they had something special.
Two-time All-Star Quaid is revelling in their displays this season - they had impressive wins against Tipperary and Waterford and a spirited draw with Cork - and their rapid progress from a disappointing 2017 campaign hasn't come out of the blue for him.
"They're flying it at the moment, their attitude and work-rate is what's really impressing me. These lads always had the skills, but more importantly they always had the work-rate and the attitude," the Kildare hurling boss said. "We've a great knack in Limerick of getting them to a certain level and then they tend to fall off but these guys have followed it through.
"They were always winners, they don't seem to have any fear now. The one thing that Limerick are doing is now that when they get ahead they keep driving it home. And when they go down and they have to fight, which they did against Cork, they showed the bottle they have."
Quaid, twice a Munster SHC winner, believes Limerick boss John Kiely has an "absolute nightmare" trying to pick his best starting 15 from "a serious panel" and commends their ability to avoid the hype thus far.
Sport is a fickle thing, however, and Quaid admits that a lot of their good work will be undone if they don't perform against Clare on Sunday in Ennis and secure their provincial final place.
"We're great in Limerick for hype but while fellas are very excited by what's going on at the moment in the county, the hype doesn't seem to be getting to lads," he said. "But at the end of the day, if Clare beat us on Sunday we don't contest the Munster final, which would be a blow. This is our most important game so far."