"We're back. And we're back on the double" - Passionate Loughmore-Castleiney manager sums up spirit in the club
Players want games so for the dual men of Loughmore-Castleiney, this is exactly what the doctor ordered.
It's been a busy time for them as, since the first weekend of August when the curtain was pulled on the Tipperary club championships, they've played every weekend since. This Sunday they are taking on Thurles Sarsfields in the county senior hurling final and as they prepare for the game, they are doing what they've been doing for the last 15 weeks in a row.
Hurls and footballs. Hurls and footballs.
In between, they've been swapped and dropped but never lost. John McGrath once told Colm Parkinson on The GAA Hour that for a Loughmore-Castleiney training session, they might warm up with the footballs and then train with the sliotars. Or the other way around, depending on what game they're playing that weekend.
It paints an idyllic sight, you'd have to say, but at the same time, it must have been twice as bitter this time last year when, not only did they have to stomach that unparalleled pain of losing one county final, they had to deal with it twice and twice in the space of one fortnight.
Call them gluttons for punishment, call them examples for the rest of us Gaels to follow but whatever they are, they're back and amazingly, they're back in both finals for their second year in a row. Frankie McGrath manages both codes in Loughmore-Castleiney and when he was interviewed on Tipp FM last weekend, he hailed the spirit and bouncebackability of his men - a spirit he says has been passed down through the generations.
"The lads showed today exactly what’s in them."
“This time last year, we had a difficult period with the two county finals and I suppose the whole country said how can Loughmore possibly come back from that, well we’re back and we’re back on the double," he said passionately.
Love the passion in this Frankie McGrath interview. He's @Loughmore_Gaa's hurling and football manager and having lost both finals last year "we're back," he says, "and we're back on the double."pic.twitter.com/VPJ2uI1YcL
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) November 11, 2021
“There’s a spirit there within the group, it’s not that we are better than anybody but there’s something special there within the group, it’s something that has been handed down through the generations.”
That's what it takes. Despite the brilliant achievement of making it back though, the toughest assignments are yet to come for this bunch of players. Their opponents in the hurling final are Thurles Sarsfields, who are the championships' traditional kingpins and it'll be much the same in the football decider, when they take on the consistently successful Clonmel Commercials.
It'll be tough to do but as Frankie McGrath says, there's no better men to do it.