O'Donnell's double take
24 February 2012
It'll be a busy weekend for Donagh O'Donnell - Limerick hurling coach and Nenagh CBS manager.
Limerick face Clare at the Gaelic Grounds in their opening league assignment on Saturday night and Nenagh CBS bid for their first-ever Harty Cup title when they meet Waterford Colleges in the decider at Cashel on Sunday afternoon. O'Donnell is taking it all in his stride:
"It's fantastic to be involved, I'd far prefer to be out every night of the week training than watching TV," he says in The Examiner.
"When you start coaching, you'd like to coach the best teams and players. I have that chance with Limerick. My father Eddie would have been involved with John Allen when he was with Cork doing stats for them and when John took over with Limerick, he approached me about becoming the trainer.
"It's been difficult in ways for us to prepare for the start of the league between the Fitzgibbon Cup and Na Piarsaigh being involved in the All-Ireland club but they are great players to work with.
"Then with Nenagh, I'm from the town myself, and I've been involved now with the school for about six years along with Tony Slattery, who became principal last year. Niall Quigley, who's from Burgess, got involved with us as well.
"There's huge interest in the game. There's been a bit of talk that it's a pity it clashes with the Tipperary game but we can't really focus on that.
"As a team and management we have to focus on our game as anything else is a side show. The support from the clubs around us has been brilliant in terms of getting pitches to train on and getting sponsorship. The staff in the school have really rowed in behind us as well.
"They're a very good bunch of fellas who show great heart and courage. We've been a little bit lucky this year in that we got a slightly easier group. We needed that as it was hard to get the lads together due to Nenagh, Burgess, Toomevara and Portroe all being involved in club games until late in the year.
"Since Christmas, we've put in a lot of work and a few challenge games against St Brendan's [Birr], Kilkenny CBS and Cork Vocational Schools helped us. Hopefully that work will now pay off."