Determination and desire were two of the main reasons Sixmilebridge were successful in acquiring the Canon Hamilton, trainer of the side Brian Culbert echoed those views.
Speaking to The Clare Herald, Culbert outlined the confidence and how their difficult path to the final helped them. “There was no one going to beat us today as we said, we got to the Final the hard way and won it the hard way, we beat all the top teams in Clare along the way and it’s definitely sweeter than two years ago it means a lot more”.
Interestingly Brian is six years younger than seasoned campaigner Niall Gilligan who hit 0-13 throughout the course of the game. While Culbert was quick to acknowledge the role played by Gilligan he was defiant that they have shrugged off the tag of being a one-man team that are overly dependent on their freetaker.
“There’s not too many clubs that can have fellas like that. It’s not the Niall Gilligan show anymore, we’ve fourteen other fellas. We’re even sick of hearing for the last couple of years that it’s all Niall Gilligan, it’s not we’ve fourteen other leaders and everyone stood up today, I know Gilly put the ball over the bar for the frees but it’s the boys that earned the frees that deserve their clap on the back too”.
Success at underage level has played a key role in the development of the Bridge’s younger players. Eight of the twenty players that featured for the O’Garney men were under the age of twenty two.
According to the LIT Freshers manager, the familiarity of these younger players with County finals was a huge benefit on the day. “Alex, Brian Carey a lot of these lads didn’t start two years ago and they’re used to winning all the way up along and even Barry Fitz, the performance the three younger fellas put in. Today didn’t phase any of the younger fellas, we’re used to finals and these boys have won every age-group up along and today was no different a task, it was just another game and they all performed, they wanted it more than anyone else and it’s as simple as that”.
In his role as Maor Foirne, Brian Culbert covered more ground than some players from either side. He quipped that it was one of the main reasons why he did so much fitness work with the team.
“I’ve been doing the fitness training with the boys most of the year. But no look someone has to keep the boys on their toes, it’s only a matter of a steering job with these boys they’re so focused and everyone knows their roles and their jobs and it’s just a matter of keeping them on their toes during the match” the only remaining member of the 2013 winning management team apart from John O’Meara added.