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'The rehab is so tedious and meticulous...my twin sister did her cruciate around the same time'

Limerick defender Sean Finn on the ACL injury he suffered during his first senior campaign.

Sean Finn is an ambassador for Patrick Bourke Menswear – the leading lifestyle and menswear store in the mid-west.
Sean Finn is an ambassador for Patrick Bourke Menswear – the leading lifestyle and menswear store in the mid-west.
Image: Sportsfile

AT THE AGE of 23, Sean Finn has already won senior All-Ireland title, Division 1 league and two U21 crowns with Limerick, while he tasted defeat in the 2014 All-Ireland minor decider. 

Finn came through the underage ranks with star names like Cian Lynch, Aaron Gillane, Tom Morrissey and Kyle Hayes. 

He’s part of what’s now being heralded as a golden generation of Treaty players, on the back of their Liam MacCarthy Cup victory last August.

His father Brian represented Limerick for nine years, with a Munster title in 1994 the sole major trophy he won during his career. Just three years into his senior career, a provincial crown is the only medal absent from Finn’s collection. 

It took him some time to make his breakthrough at senior level. Finn suffered a torn cruciate which ruled him out for the entire 2016 season. 

“I had got called into the senior panel that winter and had a couple of months training under my belt.

“I went into second year in UL and was lucky enough to be starting, at corner-back, in the second round of the Fitzgibbon against Mary I  but then I done the cruciate in that match and it was 13 months before I got back. 

“Ray Moran did it for me up in the Santry Sports Clinic and I was really off for eight months with it but then I got my Co-Op (work) placement from college in Wexford so I couldn’t actually come back training from January to March which added another three months.

“But in a way that was the best thing that happened with me because that extra three months rehab and recovery has really stood to me. While I was in Wexford I trained with a club team down there, St Mary’s, who looked after me very well.

“It was very frustrating at times. That summer was very tough. There was championship games on and you felt in your head that you were good enough to play and you wanted to play and you’d see the bus taking off with all your friends on it.

“I got an opportunity to do a bit of travelling, to see what’s outside the hurling bubble if you like, so that was probably good for me and I included a few weeks in South East Asia.

“Often times you’d give out about going training because we do a lot of it, but then you think back to those miserable moments when all you wanted to do was play and you were seeing your friends out playing. I was actually envious and jealous of them at the time.

Sean Finn and Kyle Hayes celebrate Limerick Sean Finn and Kyle Hayes celebrate after their league final victory over Waterford. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“The rehab is so tedious and meticulous. There were some bad moments alright. You start overthinking everything with your knee.

“If you hear a crack, or go over on it, or wake up one morning and it’s swollen, and you don’t know why, you start panicking. You just have to trust whatever (programme) your physio has given you.

“But I got it done well and looked after it properly and the one good thing from it was that I realised just how much I wanted to play, that the appetite and the hunger is still there.”

Incidentally, Finn wasn’t the only injury victim in his house that year – with his twin sister Sarah also suffering the dreaded torn ACL.

“Believe it or not my twin sister did her cruciate around the same time, playing camogie with the club at home. She had just recovered when I did it. She, literally, had got the all-clear that Saturday and, two days later, on the Monday, I went out and tore mine!

“They were on the opposite legs though and she went to (specialist) Tadgh O’Sullivan.”

Limerick finished third in the province last season, which sealed their place in the All-Ireland series, while Cork went through the Munster campaign unbeaten and defeated Clare in the decider.

Ahead of their championship opener against the Rebels on Sunday, Finn believes it will be difficult for any side to win all four games in Munster this season.

“No, I don’t think anyone will win four in Munster this year, it’s certainly unlikely, even though that would be your dream.

“I reckon you’re likely to get through with six or even five points. You have to win two of your games at least and then see what else happens.

“It’s so competitive you can’t be concentrating on the first or the third or the last game, it’s a matter of taking every single game as it comes and getting the most you can out of each one.

“If you get the one point for a draw you’ll take that because, look at last year – those draws really mattered.”

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Limerick hurler Sean Finn is pictured at the Patrick Bourke Menswear ‘Kings Of The Game’ campaign launch in Ennis, Co. Clare. Available now from www.patrickbourkemenswear.ie, the exclusive ‘Kings Of The Game’ spring collection combines style and performance as players and fans prepare for this summer’s championship season.

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Kevin O'Brien

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