When the Independent.ie Fitzgibbon Cup gets underway tomorrow, one team in particular will likely be cherishing their place at the pinnacle of collegiate hurling that bit more than their rivals.
It’s been 15 long years since Trinity were among those competing for the Fitzgibbon, so a majority of their players were probably just getting acquainted with a hurl all the way back in 2002.
Trinity earned their return to the top level of the third-level game - as evidenced by consecutive Ryan Cup wins in 2015 and 2016.
There will be no period of adjustment for Shane O’Brien’s charges, however, as their first task will be to navigate one of last year’s semi-finalists, Limerick IT, away from home no less.
O’Brien, who managed Dublin’s camogie side, believes that the mentality within the Trinity group, as well as their success in the Ryan Cup, will ensure they are competitive against the established elite.
“We may be lacking in certain areas but we more than make up for this with the spirit and passion that exists within the club,” he said.
“(There’s) a culture of success and achievement, but the Fitzgibbon Cup is full of top-class teams, so at this level obviously there’s no such thing as an easy draw.”
Furthermore, Trinity are not lacking talented operators, and Dublin’s Cian O’Sullivan, who was added to senior panel by Ger Cunningham late last year, will be a handful for any side.
Indeed, footage of O’Sullivan’s outlandish goal from a side-line cut – which ensured the Trinity Freshers pipped UUJ for Division Two honours - saw the youngster become an outright internet sensation.
There are also gifted twins Fionn and Cian O’Riain Broin, and Naomh Barrog man Donncha Butler (a Dublin U-21 representative) among the ranks in black and red, so they are unlikely to suffer pangs of inferiority, regardless of the opposition.
Trinity can also now base operations out of their new home in Santry, where they’ll play two of their three Group C games - Waterford IT and DCU will be their visitors over the coming weeks.
Trinity and Limerick IT meet tomorrow at 2.0.