Shane Dowling explains why 2018 All-Ireland winning manager John Kiely originally got involved in the coaching side of Limerick hurling.

Kiely led the Treaty to their holy grail in 2018, when the Munster side won their first All-Ireland title in 45 years. But the Limerick were at a lower ebb when he first decided to help out on the sideline.

The Galbally man, who had stints on both the county’s hurling and football panels as a player in the 1990s, was in attendance at the 2009 All-Ireland semi-final. Limerick were looking to reach their second decider in three seasons, but were blown away by a rampant Tipperary side, 6-19 to 2-7.

Kiely resolved that he would do his best to make a difference going forward.

“John is a great character. For anyone who doesn’t know how he got involved in Limerick hurling. In 2009 Limerick played Tipperary in an All-Ireland semi-final, and Tipperary won by 24 points. John just took one look at Croke Park that day, he turned around to himself and he said ‘I’m going to make sure this doesn’t happen again’,” recounted Dowling, speaking on Inside The Game, Sky Sports’ new GAA discussion show.

“The following day he rang the county chairman, he said ‘I want to get involved with a team at any age, I just want to get involved’.

“When he started he got involved with the Limerick U21s. He then came in as a selector with John Allen, and has obviously progressed to U21s manager, and senior manager.”

And having worked under Kiely throughout his playing career, the recently-retired Dowling is full of praise for the manager.

“What kind of a character is he? He’s a very driven character. There’s no question about that,” he explained.

“He’s very targets-driven and process-driven, and that’s the way the Limerick team is.

“You wouldn’t see him too angry. A lot of the talks would come down to the targets or the numbers.

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