Carrick Hurling manager Olcan Conway declared there was no surprise in his side’s Connacht junior championship victory.
The Leitrim men meet Castleblayney in the All-Ireland Junior hurling semi-final on Sunday in TEG Cusack Park, having become the first Leitrim team to win a Connacht hurling title.
“I know it was a surprise to a lot of people and to people in hurling circles but it wasn’t a huge surprise to us!” explained Conway having beaten Ballygar in the Connacht final.
“We always thought we had the potential to do it” Conway added, “Getting over the line has always been the hardest thing and finally getting over the line was a fantastic achievement.”
While a totally new era has dawned with a Leitrim team enjoying club hurling success, Conway admitted his side are enjoying the attention.
“It’s a wonderful feeling and it’s great for the area the club and the players, it’s been a very enjoyable winter” smiled Conway.
“We’ve been training three or four times a week and be getting ready for an All-Ireland semi-final, It’s been a mild winter and we’ve came through unscathed.”
“It’s been very enjoyable, we’ve enjoyed it for a couple of weeks, we got lots of publicity and lots of accolades out of it, but we had to get down to work after it.”
“You have to start getting prepared and look to the next one.”
All roads now lead to Mullingar and a meeting with Castlblayney, Conway agreeing the Monaghan outfit will be a big step-up in quality.
“Every game is a step-up” declared Conway, “Castleblayney are a fantastic team with a great tradition of winning. They’ve been down this road before where-as it’s totally new territory to us.”
“There’s no doubt about it that it’s defiantly a huge step-up for us, we’ll have to match their intensity, you won’t get time to breath, never mind strike a ball.”
“We’re well prepared for it, we’ve given it everything and I don’t believe there is really much between the teams, so I’m expecting a very good close encounter.”
Sunday Sport will have extended updates of the All-Ireland junior club hurling semi-final from 2pm.