YOU would think at this stage Séamus Harnedy would be sick to his back teeth of doing interviews and speaking about hurling. Not a bit of it!
Harnedy is bursting with enthusiasm and the St Ita’s legend, Cork and Imokilly captain is raring to go against the Glen in the county final.
“I suppose it’s all up for grabs this coming Sunday and it is great to be back in Páirc Uí Rinn in a final again. I have been in a couple of finals now and those days don’t come around too often so you have to make the most of it.
“I am pleased to be back in another final and I am really looking forward to it.”
Leading a team that has been together for such a long period has shown Harnedy what a tight group the Imokilly players are. Whoever you speak to in the Imokilly set-up, the common thread is that they won’t get ahead of themselves.
“We are on the road together now a good few years and there is a great bond there and we all get on very well together.
“Yeah, look, I suppose that’s a part of any good team when you know each other well and there is a close bond and thankfully, we have that. Having been together for a while now we have a good idea of what we are all about and that is part and parcel of any good team you know and that has stood to us.”
Glen Rovers stand in the way of Harnedy climbing the steps to receive the Sean Óg Murphy Cup for the third time in a row and emulate the great St Finbarr’s side of the early ’80s. If they do, they’ll bring home a fifth title overall for the East Cork divisional side.
“The Glen are a fierce passionate club and they are a really good team and they have a number of players all over the field from one to 15 that can really hurt you and beyond that, the subs are very strong too you know.
“We really respect them, they are a great club, with great players in their team and we know that we will have a massive battle the next day on our hands. They won two county finals back to back in Páirc Uí Rinn and we know that a lot of the Glen Rovers players have huge experience too and they are used to the big stage.
“When it comes to county finals these are the days you play hurling for and as you get older these are the days you appreciate more and we are all looking forward to it now.”
Winning the first senior title for Imokilly in 2017 was an exceptionally exciting time for the Imokilly area and following that up in 2018 was putting down a marker that they were not just a ‘one-off’ team. Three in a row now beckons.
“Do you know what, Rasper’s very regimental in his routines and he always wants to relay the same messages to us and it is always on any given day that things will happen and everything is up for grabs.
“What happened last year and the year before are unfortunately in the past and once the ball is thrown in on Sunday, it’s all to play for again.
“We can only be judged on our performance on that day and that is just the nature of sport and what will be, will be.”
Imokilly have blooded many players during the 2019 championship and are always looking to build for the future and it is something that Harnedy really approves of.
“In this squad, there are places up for grabs all the time which is a good thing for everyone and whoever shows up the best will get their opportunity.
“There is a system in place with us and that is what you have to really admire about our management team because whoever is in form will get the nod. That is a great sign of any good management team and that is the way of any good squad.
“I am really looking forward to Sunday, as are all the lads it should be a great game.”
Harnedy is one of many leaders in this exceptionally good Imokilly team and come Sunday afternoon, at Páirc Uí Rinn, in the year’s most eagerly-anticipated final, with a throw-in time of 4pm... he could shine