Saturday 17 August 2019

Brendan Cummins believes John Kiely has created harmony throughout the Limerick squad by ringing in the changes for the Tipperary match

John Kiely’s Limerick are strong favourites to beat Clare. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
John Kiely’s Limerick are strong favourites to beat Clare. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

John Morley

Limerick manager John Kiely ruthlessly rang in the changes for the Tipperary match last weekend, getting rid of big names like Cian Lynch, Graeme Mulcahy and Tom Morrisey.

Tipperary legend Brendan Cummins believes that this was part of John Kiely's master plan ahead of the Munster final and by giving fringe players a chance against Tipperary, he has ensured a unified squad going forward.

"It's really good management, because in the teams I played on in 2001 and 2010, who won the All-Ireland, the problem childs in the dressing rooms are numbers 18 to 25. They feel after the first year that they should get their opportunity," said Cummins on The Throw-In podcast in association with Bord Gáis Energy.

"If they don't get the opportunity then that's when the rot starts in and they'll start the bitching in the background and they'll start saying I'm not getting a game, why should I go to the gym? I'm not going to be starting."

In dropping the hurler of the year Lynch and All-star forward Mulcahy Kiely has dismissed these notions from his player's minds and has instilled the belief that hard work will earn them a place on the starting fifteen.

"Kiely is in a great position because he killed all that, Shane Dowling, Dan Morrisey did fine but he's not as good as Declan Hannon at sitting in that role like Padraic Maher did," said Cummins.

"All those things [say to the Limerick substitutes] you got your opportunity, you didn't take it this time, but I had enough confidence in you to give you the start."

"That's the message I think he's given to the players after the weekend, nobody can be cosy in their places. If you're good enough you'll get the run, if you're not you won't."

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Irish Independent GAA reporter, Colm Keys, believes that Limerick will have learnt lessons from their All-Ireland final win against the two in-a-row seeking Tribesmen after Galway went two years on the trot with a relatively unchanged starting fifteen.

"John Kiely actually said [starting different players] was something that he would like to do a bit more. They were clearly qualified yesterday but he clearly wants to shake it up a bit more," said Keys.

"This is their second season on the go on top of last year, baring in mind Galway found the All-Ireland final a stage too far. [Kiely] has the resources to do it, so why not do it? Even though they won't be happy with him in Limerick or Clare."

Irish Independent GAA reporter, Michael Verney, doesn't buy into the idea that Kiely dropped players tactically and believes that he was merely selecting based on form.

"I'm not sure about the resting thing. I think Cian Lynch was probably in their bottom three players the week before and Kiely is ruthless enough," said Verney.

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