Like every inter-county hurler, Shane Dowling‘s dream was to win the All-Ireland with his home county of Limerick. That dream is now a reality, as back in August, Limerick were crowned All-Ireland Champions for the first time in 45 years. So is Shane still on a buzz from it all?
“Life continues on as always but it was brilliant! You can’t describe it. You always get the question, ‘how did it feel when you won?’ But words wouldn’t do it justice. You can’t describe the feeling at all. Unless something that you always wanted to happen to you, actually ends up happening to you, you can’t understand the feeling. It is such a long time coming.”
It has only been two months since Limerick’s triumph, but with next year’s All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship fixtures being released, some are already starting to think ahead to next summer and wonder can Limerick do it again? Can they go for the double and win back to back All-Ireland titles? And as well, because Limerick are such a young team, many think that the best is yet to come for the Treatymen.
But for Shane, that is not how he sees it.
“I don’t buy that at all. When Tipperary won the All-Ireland in 2010, they were going to take over hurling for the next 10 years. I think they have only won one since. When Clare won the All-Ireland in 2013, they too were going to rule hurling for the next 10 years and they haven’t won one since.”
“It would be stupid of us to think that we are going to rule hurling too for the next few years because that is not going to be the case. It is so competitive and you need so much luck to get to where we got to.”
“Kilkenny were so far ahead of everyone in the 2000s that it wasn’t as competitive, but now it’s the opposite. Hurling is extremely competitive and you need a lot of luck. We had very few injuries. We went through the whole year being injury free with the exception of Paul Browne who did his cruciate. You need a lot of things to fall into the right place for you.”
“If we are injury free next year, obviously we will be given every chance. But look at Waterford this year. That is a prime example of how things can go for you. People have said to me about back to back titles, or do we think we can do it again? My answer to that is we won’t be thinking about back to backs until 2019. I want to enjoy my Christmas and I think about 2019 in the new year!”
We will just have to wait and see what happens!