Bryan Keane/INPHO
Limerick GAA

Seán Finn: Limerick jersey storm, position-specific hurl and chasing club glory

The star defender chats about the split season, Bruff and the controversy around Limerick’s training jersey.

THINK OF LIMERICK. Cast your mind back over their defence and the enormous plays they muster with frightening regularity. How many times does Seán Finn feature in that showreel? 

The powerful corner-back and his doctor gadget limbs, hooking and blocking. Consistently cleaning out corner-forwards. 

Those limbs have been deliberately modified. In a world where most skilled sticksmen opt for shorter hurls, the Bruff native prefers a 36-inch version. 

sean-finn-and-billy-ryan Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

“I used a 37 in 2019, but I’ve taken an inch off that and went down to a 36,” Finn explains.

“So I’ve used a 36 for a number of years now. But to be honest, it’s position-specific. If I was playing out the field, I might use that bit smaller of a hurley. It is considering where I’m playing, just the role that I’ve to do. I just find the longer hurley has been hugely valuable to me over the last couple of years.

“I play out at number six with the club and I use a 33-inch, so there’s a big difference.”

The four-time All-Star stresses it depends on his role on the field and the skillset he is likely to require. 

“Blocking in particular. I’d thought that I was always too short by an inch when I block a player. You don’t have to strike the ball too much when you play corner-back, so a lot of it is stopping a player hurling. I just found it position-specific really.” 

Finn is busy preparing for a Limerick Premier Intermediate semi-final on Saturday when Bruff take on Newcastle West. At inter-county level, the 26-year-old has won every possible title.

A month after he played in the 2014 minor All-Ireland decider, he won a Premier Intermediate as a 17-year-old. He thought there would be more club titles to come. He was mistaken. 

“It hasn’t worked out like that so it’s something that I would absolutely love to win. For myself but also for the lads that haven’t been successful with the club for so many years.

“It would be fantastic for the club, for those lads, and for myself being able to contribute as much as I can towards that.

“My younger brother Patrick is 18, he’s a half-back. My older brother is 27. He was a big player for us but he moved to Australia, which is a big loss for us.

“But all my family are involved. My mother was involved on the board to some degree. My father is the secretary of the club.”

On the inter-county front, Limerick came under fire last month after launching a special training jersey in a bid to raise funds for this year’s team holiday. It was originally priced at €150 before the public’s backlash saw the price reduced by €50.

He wasn’t involved in the process but says “they got it wrong at the time.” As for matters on the field, in Munster and beyond there has been plenty of management changes. The Limerick star anticipates a great challenge coming down the tracks.

In typical fashion, relishing it. 

“It will be interesting. Kilkenny have a new management team there. It is exciting and they will come with different ideas, looking for ways to improve their season and also take us down to a certain extent.

“It is exciting, it will come around quickly enough.”

In the meantime, his focus is solely on the clash in Ballyagran on Saturday afternoon. Finn has his time now as a club player and he’s happy to have it. 

“I have really enjoyed it. It feels as if the All-Ireland was a while ago now.

“We’re still training away, training nearly 11 months of the year, but I’ve really enjoyed the break from the mental demands of the inter-county season.

“The intensity of the club commitment wouldn’t be as high as inter-county so I’ve really enjoyed the last couple of months training with the club.

“Overall, as a player, I couldn’t speak highly enough of it.”

Seán Finn has teamed up with Warriors For Humanity, Self Help Africa and the GPA for the launch of the Plant For The Planet Games. He will join a host Gaelic Games stars who will be travelling to Kenya in November as part of a week-long tour to the East African country raising funds to plant one million trees. 

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