This is Seán McMahon’s first year involved with this record breaking U21 set-up and Eoin Brennan finds the St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield legend completely enamoured with the squad and eagerly anticipating Thursday night.

Seán McMahon is no stranger to the big occasion but the St Josephs man is a relative rookie when it comes to standing on the sideline of a Munster U21 final. His involvement with this squad is clearly something he relishes and he admits to hitting every ball on the tramlines against Waterford;

“The game is all about the players and we are just trying to help out as best we can. I was kind of hitting every ball but at the same time, you were trying to stay focused as well.

“But look, it was great particularly when the crowd rowed in behind the team as the second half went on and you know, that was absolutely vital. And when that happens in the Park, there’s no better place than it,” says Seanie.

The thrilling victory has obviously brought a huge buzz to training since, along with the prospect of a Munster final at home?

“A win always brings an extra buzz and we were waiting so long for the game, we were almost the last team out in championship action. I mean the Leinster final was over before we had even started so we were really looking forward to it and after all the work, when you get that result, it’s a huge boost,” agrees the Joseph’s man.

“But look we’re under no illusions, we’ve a huge task ahead of us again and we were be very keen to get back down to earth straight away.”

The recently inducted UL Hall of Famer McMahon joined the set-up when Gerry O’Connor bowed out last year. However he is no stranger to the players or the preparations needed for this level, having been a key part of the development squad structure in Clare over the past number of years.

“The game is all about the players and we are just trying to help out as best we can. I was kind of hitting every ball but at the same time, you were trying to stay focused as well.

He has been very impressed with the commitment the entire squad has put in to date:

“They’ve given a huge amount all year and we’ve been very, very impressed with the efforts the lads have made. So we were very hopeful that there was a really good performance in the lads and there was against Waterford.

“And at the end of the day, they showed great heart particularly when there were questions asked. I felt the goal came totally against the run of play but that’s the nature of it and the boys responded by going back down and getting a couple of points so we would have felt that there is good character in them and they showed it. But I suppose that and more is going to be needed on Thursday again,” he says.

McMahon has been around hurling at the highest levels for some time now and experience has taught him that semi-final form can often be discounted when it comes to the biggest days of all. With that in mind he knows that Clare must dig deep again this Thursday night and come up with another high quality performance to prevail:

“Absolutely, I mean there’s no question about it, what happened the last day won’t be enough the next day and we’d be under no illusions about that. But we’d hoping as well that by getting over the game, it’ll help us and will bring us all on another little bit but I think we’re all aware that we are going to have to stake it on another notch because Limerick will bring a huge battle and they will really be looking forward to coming down as well.”

And what of home venue? How much of an advantage is the Park to our side?

“It’s always nice to have a game in the Park in your home venue. And to be honest at this level, I think all the teams are very similar and I don’t think there’s a huge difference in quality between any of the teams. Therefore it’s nice to have it at home and make sure we’re at our best. And if we are, then I think we’d be in with a great chance,” concludes the iconic former great McMahon.

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