‘No complacency in Four Roads’ – Curley

Shane Curley has made a smooth transition from a long and successful career in the black and amber jersey of Four Roads to managing the team this year. Indeed observers have been very impressed with how he has gone about his task as his charges have swept through the championship thus far, leaving just one more hurdle to clear on Sunday.

When Shane met the local media last week he was cautious about the final, despite the fact that his team are the overwhelming favourites.

“It’s been a funny championship this year and it’s hard to make predictions. Athleague haven’t put their best team out yet. Look at the way they finished the semi-final. They will have changes for the final. Robbie Fallon will probably start, Alan Moore could come in, Cathal Crehan came in the last day and made an impact. So it’s very hard to make an assessment.

“We have played well in stages only and there is plenty of room for improvement – but wouldn’t it be brilliant if we played our best hurling of the year in the final!

In terms of this season, Shane says it has gone well so far. “We started early and had a good pre-season. You are trying to get a return on the work that you put in. You are trying to get the lads to book their holidays around the championship and that in itself provides a motivation. But the lads themselves have set their own standards this year. They have been really good.

“From the start of this year we have lost Cormac Coyle, Brian Lawlor and Brian Mannion. So, looking in from the outside it is difficult to say who is in the best position going into this final”.

He has no fear of his players being complacent on Sunday. “I can promise you that our lads will not be complacent. That won’t be allowed. As I said, we didn’t hit our targets in the semi-final. Every day we go out we have targets that we want to achieve and when you don’t do that it creates more competition. We have a different team from last year. You look at our team from 2022 and there are plenty of changes in position and in terms of personnel, and Athleague are the same.

“There are different managements involved with both sides too. I would have great time for (Athleague coach) Stevie (Glennon). He has huge experience in Galway and Roscommon hurling. It’s interesting too that Gary (Fallon) is manager and is also playing. I have found that it is very hard to get information to the players during a game, so that’s an interesting dynamic”.

Shane is very complimentary about Athleague’s strengths. “I am very aware of the running power that they have. They are very athletic. That running game has a big part to play in the way they hurl and we will be very aware of what they will bring to the table”.

On his own management, he suggests it will be for one season only.

“I have a short window here that suits and the most I can give this is a year. My goal is to max out with this group of players. The easiest thing to do is to stay and watch the games outside the wire and be critical, or you can try and help out – and that’s what I did. I like the coaching side of it but not the management side of it, but it’s just about helping the club out”.