Brian Looby: 'For Waterford it's about getting to Limerick's level'
By Matthew Hurley
Waterford Defender Brian Looby feels that preparation has gone well leading up to their clash with Limerick on Saturday. Waterford face Limerick on Saturday 26th June at 3pm in the Munster SFC Quarter-Final in the Gaelic Grounds. The game will be shown live on GAA GO.
Looby, who scored a goal against Wexford in that memorable win a few weeks back, is quite happy with the lead up to the big game.
“Preparation has been good, obviously the Antrim game was disappointing, but I mean the league was always going to end with either a win or a loss and we knew we had championship after it.
“If you can't get excited for championship football in June, then I don't know if you should be playing inter-county football.”
Waterford have a new manager this season, in the shape of Cork native Shane Ronayne and the defender feels that his tenure has gone well so far.
“I think since Shane has come in, there's been a real sense of professionalism about the whole setup. I think he's great to analyze a game and to mention in training around what went wrong in the game, what went right in the game, our strengths and weaknesses.
“We learned a lot from the game we lost against Carlow and in the week in between, with a few little tweaks here and there, I think it got us over the line against Wexford, which was great,” Looby said.
As a result of the shortened year, there will be no qualifiers this season, but the Waterford player would have loved to have them.
“I know situations outside of sport dictate it all with COVID, but I would have loved to have a qualifier campaign. For us, Waterford footballers, it's our best chance of getting a qualifier win. We managed it a couple years ago against Wexford.
“While we have the game against Limerick and we're really looking forward to it, to have a game past that, even if we were to lose would have been brilliant and the more games the better for counties like us who, we know, we won't be winning (a) Munster championship, just to have games where we are competitive and we have a chance of winning, I think that's what we're looking for.”
While Brian is looking forward to the game against Limerick on Saturday, he also has admiration for their opposition have done over the last few years.
“We've fallen behind some of the other counties in Munster in the last few years, but I think Limerick, Tipperary, Clare, they've all really done well to narrow the gap to what we call the traditional top 2 of Cork and Kerry in Munster.
“I think last year Limerick were so unlucky to lose out to Tipperary. I mean, if they'd gotten over the line in normal time or even extra time, they could have been Munster champions and playing in All-Ireland Semi-Finals and they would’ve been regarded as a much better team than maybe what people think they are.”
According to Looby, it is an aim of Waterford’s to get up to Limerick’s level.
“We know what to expect from Limerick, I've great admiration for Billy Lee and how he's upped that team, it's something we want to do.
“We've looked at the likes of Tipperary, the likes of Clare and Limerick themselves going up the divisions. That’s something we want to emulate in the years to come. We know what to expect the weekend, but we know where we stand ourselves.
“The last few years in Munster championship, we've lost to Cork by a point, we lost Clare by a point, I mean we know on our day we can put it up to these teams and we're just hoping for a similar performance at the weekend.”