Kieran O’Gorman: the joker in the pack

SP4 Pic1 KieranOGorman “I’m wicked shy now, lads,” said a grinning Deise selector Kieran O’Gorman as he  happily bounded towards the media on Monday evening last in Dungarvan. The  Lismore man, widely known as ‘Guggs’, is the type of management figure there’s not  nearly enough of in Gaelic Games nowadays: as gregarious as he is engaging and  the possessor of a devilish wit. But that sunny exterior in no way detracts from a  serious hurling mind, exclusively devoted to helping Waterford reach the  promised land in Croke Park this Sunday. “We all know that we struggled to beat  Kilkenny, we just about got over the line against them,” he said of their two-point  win over the Cats. “We feel we can improve in every area and the biggest plus from  our point of view is that the players themselves feel they can improve. They feel  they can improve as well, which makes our job as selectors a hell of a lot easier,  trying to get them to improve when they realise that themselves, that there’s more in them.” Has that been a byproduct of playing so many matches together over the course of an eventful summer? “It definitely helps,” he said, before turning to face the panel in the midst of a training drill. “Look out there now, they’re all shouting and roaring, and they’re having a laugh with each other, it’s like a club team set-up. “We’re together since January, they all know each other since they played Tony Forristal together four years ago, they know each other well from schools’ hurling, playing with and against each other – look, it’s an All-Ireland Final and there’s no real need to be building them up for it. If you can’t work yourself up for an All-Ireland Final, you’re playing the wrong sport, I think.”

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