"The 99 van would pull into training and everyone is just chilling out on the field"

August 21, 2018

Limerick's Shane Dowling celebrates.
©INPHO/Ryan Byrne.

Shane Dowling has revealed how the Limerick hurlers enjoyed pints after games and ice creams after training en route to All-Ireland glory.

The Treaty County defeated traditional big three Tipperary, Cork and Kilkenny as well as last year's finalists Waterford and Galway to capture their first senior All-Ireland title in 45 years and Dowling - who came off the bench to net their crucial third goal in Sunday's final victory over the Tribesmen - says a more relaxed approach contributed to their success:

"After every game, there's chilling inside the dressing room, playing music, some lads get up singing, some get up dancing, and that's what I mean by the fun element, great craic, and brilliant to be involved with," the Na Piarsaigh ace is quoted in The Irish Daily Star.

"It's mad how this game has changed. Ten years ago, you wouldn't touch a drop of liquor from January till nearly the end of the season. None. Now, after every championship game, we all go and enjoy ourselves, management included.

"The whole enjoyment side, which I believe was gone for the last number of years, because of how serious it went, that's after going full circle again, and people are after buying back into the amateur, enjoyment side of it, which is very important.

"Especially with this group of lads. You'd want to see them, half an hour, 40 minutes before throw-in, if you walked into the dressing room, you'd genuinely say to yourself, 'Are these boys actually going hurling in an All-Ireland final?'

"Even small things, the odd occasion after training, the 99 van would pull into training at the Gaelic Grounds, and everyone is just chilling out on the field, having an ice cream. That would not have been heard of five or six years ago."

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