herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

TOMáS' TAKE ON...

REPEATING LAST YEAR'S LEAGUE HEROICS

"It was groundbreaking and very important for us last year, but it's still huge for us this year. It's only five games and we've already lost the first one, so, already, we're in a dogfight. It would be nice to win the league again but we want to make our mark in the championship. It's more important for us. But the fact there's only five games, every one is huge."

FRESH BLOOD

"It has definitely changed. The likes of myself, Johnny McCaffrey, Joey Boland and a few more, there was probably a lot of pressure put on us from day one when we came out of minor, whereas the likes of Danny (Sutcliffe) are coming into a more settled team and they have to work harder to get into the team.

"It seems to mean a lot more to them when they do make the starting team.

"Danny was probably our best player against Galway. He showed great aggression and shows that he wants it. There is a lot we can learn off the likes of him as much as he can from everybody else."

FULL-BACK OR CENTRE-BACK?

"I definitely prefer to be out the field, in the half-back line somewhere. When I first went in there (full-back), I had never played there. There wasn't really a specialist full-back and I went in there just to do a job. It was something I enjoyed to an extent but I much prefer being out the field and I feel I can offer a lot more to the team. Whether that's five, six or seven ... Joey is obviously inspirational there ... anywhere out the field I would be much happier.

"It's unfortunate Peter Kelly got injured. He was our next best player after Danny against Galway, and he had a phenomenal year last year, so, hopefully, he's there to stay."

ANTHONY DALY

"He came in at the right time. A lot of the players were around my age and we needed a high-profile appointment. Daly came from the same sort of background that we were in with Clare, losing two Munster finals heavily in '93 and '94 before they made the breakthrough in '95.

"So he has been through it all. But the management can only take you to a certain level and then the players have to take up the slack. If he did get disheartened, I still think the players are there to take over. There are seven or eight huge leaders on the team that can carry it on."

THE DRAW OF FOOTBALL

"The football was having all the success and they had all the fans so it's understandable why players wanted to play football. But I think hurling is close to as enticing as football. Liam Rushe and Danny Sutcliffe -- two brilliant footballers -- chose hurling, so there is probably an even spread, whereas nearly all of them were choosing football before."

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