Tommy Walsh spoke about his love for his parish after Tullaroan became the Hurling All-Ireland Intermediate Club Champions.
The Kilkenny hurler was speaking to Off The Ball after the triumph and it was clear how much the win meant to him.
“It’s incredible really. We came from the depths of despair the last couple of years and we were probably wondering would we ever get over the line in Kilkenny. Now it’s all after coming in the one year. It’s an incredible time for everyone.
“I said it to the lads earlier on - the club is just so much more. It’s the soul of the place. Everyone in Tullaroan is flying it at the moment.
“It’s just a magical time. I said it to the lads inside, it’s like being in Disney World for the last three months. What a time to be a player,” Walsh said.
The entire parish of Tullaroan have gotten behind the team in recent times and Walsh thanked them for their support in getting the club over the line.
“Yeah, the night has come. I always hope that maybe you’ll get a bit of luck. There are 600 people in our parish and we were training below last night in our field with the couple of lights we have down here.
“I’d say there was 500 people there on the bank watching us, clapping us, cheering. We were very focused on the match itself but it’s just everyone together.
“We’d a parish league final the week before the county final and we had about 500 people at that as well. So the club is just working so hard just to get days like this.
“Usually our heads are down and we’re commiserating with each other and telling each other to keep it going. I suppose we brought in youth in the last couple of years and they’re after driving the whole thing,” Walsh commented.
Tommy’s brother Shane is the club’s captain and the nine-time All-Ireland winner praised his brother as one of the best leaders he has ever played under.
“I was always a good follower. I wasn’t a leader but I was always a good follower. Shane is different. You know by the way he captains the team. He’s just out there on his own. He’s his own man and he’ll go with his own tunnel vision.
“Last year we were worried when he was going around looking for the captaincy and were wondering would it put pressure on him as a young 24 year old. But he took it on and went off the beer for a couple of months.
“He really started believing in himself. He hasn’t trained in about two months I’d say at this stage with an ankle injury and today he just turned it on when we really needed it.
“I’ve played with great leaders in my time. Shefflin, Jackie Tyrell, Hogie, Owen Larkin. Great captains. Lester Ryan was probably the best I ever played with. But Shane is up there,” Walsh said.
There's been a change to the AIB GAA Club Championship fixture schedule this year and the finals take place next Sunday the 19th of January.
Tickets available from gaa.tickets.ie and usual outlets including local clubs and Supervalu and Centra stores.