CARRIGTWOHILL legend Seanie O’Farrell faces a tough baptism in the Co-Op Superstores Premier Senior Hurling Championship, following his return to his home-town club to take up the managerial role.
O’Farrell led St Catherine’s to the last four of the Lower Intermediate Championship last year but knows big challenges lie ahead after Carrig were grouped with Sarsfields, Midleton and Na Piarsaigh.
Ten years ago, O'Farrell played a memorable role as Carrigtwohill won the senior title in fairytale circumstances, defeating Midleton at the penultimate stage. Now the two neighbours will collide again, with the men in blue and gold hoping to overturn the rankings and produce another surprise result.
As for the other big hitters in Group B, Carrigtwohill drew with Na Piarsaigh when the sides met early in last year’s championship, a result that ultimately ensured their safety, while their 2018 third-round meeting against Sarsfields ended in a comfortable 2-17 to 0-8 win for the Riverstown outfit.
“It’s great to be back involved with Carrigtwohill again. Like everybody I just can’t wait to get started, it’s been a long winter for all hurling people,” said O’Farrell.
“Looking ahead, there will obviously be a lot of talk about the Midleton match; these games always take on a life of their own.
“We will prepare the best we can for all of our games and do everything we can to win.
“There might be a bit of a perception out there that we are a soft touch, so our job is very much to get rid of that notion. People will rank us as underdogs in the three fixtures, but I like that tag.
“Last year, the team finished level with Na Piarsaigh and gave a really good account of themselves against Glen Rovers. Things just seemed to fall apart against St Finbarr’s, but most teams can have days like that.
I know we are in transition but I am optimistic that the future is bright, there are a lot of young players coming up.
“This year, it’s all about getting the blend right and getting the belief back.”
Former Waterford and Lismore goalkeeper Brendan Landers has been drafted into the new managerial setup as coach. He joins former St Finbarr’s player Paul Forde and former Delany’s man Deccie Collins, who are both reside locally. Carrigtwohill native Shane Cuddigan completes the new-look backroom team.
Sean O’Farrell’s men will take inspiration from the club’s magical campaign 10 years ago, when they edged out Midleton on a 1-10 to 0-10 scoreline, before overcoming CIT in the decider.