Wednesday 17 January 2018

Where are they now?

Paudie Fitzmaurice

(Former Limerick hurler)

When Paudie Fitzmaurice first donned the green jersey, Limerick were very competitive in the hurling championship. During his years as a player, the county won several major titles including an All-Ireland, four Munsters and two National Leagues. Limerick hurling may be a bit off where it was back then but Fitzmaurice feels that the next few years could see Limerick return to the glory days.

"I think Limerick are making great progress but it will probably be next year before they reach their potential," says Fitzmaurice.

"They've developed a very strong panel and given opportunities to a lot of lads in the league. They used it to blood players and to settle on a team. I suppose in a sense today's game against Kilkenny is going to help decide how far this team have come."

The former All Star was part of the three-man selection committee that appointed firstly Donal O'Grady and then John Allen to the role of Limerick manager. He's impressed with the jobs both have done and is expecting a good performance against the Cats in today's All-Ireland quarter-final.

"I know everyone is expecting a backlash from Kilkenny after losing to Galway and no team wants to take them on at this stage. However, Limerick are under no pressure going into the game and I think it's important that they take the game to Kilkenny, get early scores and have a go. I'm expecting a really good contest."

Fitzmaurice, who hails from Killeedy, got his senior hurling career off to a great start by winning two National League medals. By the end of his career, he had won four Munster medals, an All-Ireland, two National Leagues and an All Star award. And in 1981 he captained his county to a Munster title.

However, despite having achieved major success as an inter-county hurler, his greatest memory was winning a county title with his club. He played for Killeedy until 1991 and is still hugely interested in hurling. He's watched the preparation of teams develop over the years but feels the game will never change and that it's the "best in the world."

Fitzmaurice recently retired from teaching. He spent most of his career at St Munchin's College in Limerick teaching maths before finishing up at Castletroy College this year.

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