"The more you win, the more motivated you become"
It says it all about Dan Morrissey's move from wing back to full back that you hardly even noticed he'd left.
So dominant and solid were the Ahane man's performances in Limerick's last line that he's been likened to one of the greatest of all-time, in Kilkenny's JJ Delaney. JJ made the move back mid-way through his career and mastered the art, Morrissey is flattered by the comparisons.
"JJ was one of my all-time heroes growing up so to be put in the same bracket as him is a great compliment to get," he says in a GAA Hour interview with Colm Parkinson.
Morrissey does feel, however, that as a consequence of modern-day hurling's fluid nature, it wasn't an an overly difficult move for him to make.
"The way hurling is gone these days," he says, "in the backs you're getting pulled around to so many positions. It's very rarely there's going to be three men across full forward line. The day of six forwards lining up to mark six backs is gone...going from half back to full back is a difference, but at the same time, if you compare to ten years ago, it's not as much..."
"We don't do a whole pile of man-marking so, in terms of picking lads up, you kind of pick up whoever's closest to you. I always find it gas when people ask you after a game, 'who were you marking?' sure you could have been marking five or six different lads and one or two subs as well..."
Having won their second All-Ireland in 2020, many have wondered where the motivation will come from for Limerick in 2021. For Morrissey, it's a case of the more you win, the more motivated you become.
"Just take my first two years on the Limerick panel, I found it a lot harder to motivate myself going back to pre-season because you'd be wondering are you really in with a chance of winning an All-Ireland?
"Now you know you're in with a good chance, and knowing the feeling of winning and the celebrations that follow it, you're just mad to have that feeling every single year...It's a lot easier for Dublin footballers to motivate themselves compared to teams that probably don't have a chance of winning for example...I think the more you win, the more motivated you become."
Alan Milton on the GAA's latest delay and the fixture plan for the 2021 season 📅
Dan Morrissey on the move from wing back to full back 🏑
Tony McEntee on what is more special: winning with your club or winning with your county 🏆
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— The GAA Hour (@TheGAAHour) February 11, 2021
As for the lack of goalscoring, Morrissey puts it down to a mix of poor finishing and exceptional point taking from his Limerick teammates.
"Players are getting so good at striking out the field, they can score from their own half back line now so when the point is on, they might go for the point you know."
"Once we're racking up the points and winning matches, I don't think it makes a huge difference. Even though we didn't score a lot of goals, I did think we created a lot of goal chances, and just didn't take them. You could see how good Stephen O'Keeffe was in the final...maybe some of the forwards could do with working on their finishing maybe!"
For now, it's just a case of tipping away on this training groundhog day.
"We're doing two or three evenings a week and we'd go down to the ball-wall or do a bit of running a couple of evenings a week too, but it is hard to know what to do at the moment. You're nearly training out of boredom more than anything else..."