A man of many words, often unique, Limerick legend Ciaran Carey has run out of superlatives to describe the current set up after they collected a third All-Ireland title in four years over the weekend.
Discussing the sixteen point win over the Rebels, Carey says we haven’t seen anything like John Kiely’s men.
“You run out of words to do them justice. When you look at their journey, Cork, Tipperary, Waterford and Cork, blew away all the teams on their journey.
“This particular team, what they’re actually doing presently and what they have done is something that we haven’t witnessed at all before.
And for the Patrickswell native, the overwhelming factor in the sides success is their unity as a squad with Carey’s nephew Cian Lynch saying that they were ‘willing to die for each other’ in the wake of the triumph.
Honesty, respect and workrate have become staple words of the current side as Carey outlined the importance of building a bond within a squad.
“Inevitably, what Limerick are doing and what they’ve achieved in the last four years, unless you have that connection as a squad, as an army, as a family atmosphere. You have to get the fundamentals right and that’s a big one in any squad.
“You must be an army, you must be a family and you must have that connection.
“The hurling will look after itself, but this is about having respect, having honesty and having unconditional love basically for your fellow player.”
A third success since 2018 has garnered many comparisons to the great Kilkenny side of the 00’s that collected four on the trot with many similarities between the 2008 and 2021 finals as Kilkenny and Limerick put their opponents to the sword respectively.
Cody’s side were revered for their ruthlessness and Carey has likened Limerick to them after Sunday’s performance with more to come from the Shannonsiders.
“I came away from the game and the one word that kept jumping at me was ruthlessness. The ruthlessness at how they went about their performance. Even when the match was done and dusted, they became more ruthless, until the final few minutes. They stuck to the process until the very end.
“And that is the goal now, when is the day that they will hang four goals and forty points?! And I would suggest it isn’t too far away.”
In the wake of the game, the Sunday Game selected 11 Limerick players to their team of the year with Carey suggesting they should earn a couple more.
However, despite the abundance of talent at their disposal, Carey praised the management team for knitting it altogether.
“A lot of the credit has to go to Paul Kinnerk. Look at the waterbreaks, at one side I think they’re destroying the game but they appear to be a huge advantage to Limerick because they are regrouping and settling.
“They’ve been at it a couple of years now and its repetition. It is set in the mind and it appears that it is now coming automatically. And if it isn’t automatic, it’s going to be told in the waterbreak, its probably like spraying a bit of WD40 on the hinge of the door. Quick chat and they are usually explosive at the start of the quarter.”
No doubt Limerick will have a target on their back heading into the 2022 season but Kiely’s men still have time on their side with Nickie Quaid the only player among the starting side the wrong side of 28.
And after a lengthy barren spell, long may the good days continue says Carey.