Former Limerick hurler Séamus Hickey believes Aaron Gillane’s omission from the starting team for Limerick’s stunning Munster final victory over Tipperary helped the player to “recalibrate".
Gillane came off the bench in the final and scored six points as the Shannonsiders came from a 10-point deficit at halftime to claim the Mick Meaney Cup in July.
The talismanic forward started the All-Ireland semi-final against Waterford in Croke Park earlier this month, notching 1-6 to help the defending champions edge out the Déise by 1-25 to 27 points.
However, Hickey claims that Limerick boss John Kiely was correct in leaving Gillane in the dugout for the game at Pairc Uí Chaoimh.
Speaking on Thursday’s Off The Ball, Hickey said: “It wasn’t a mistake; it was exactly the right decision.”
“It mightn’t look like that - and I’m a huge Aaron Gillane fan - but if you saw Gillane's performances in the previous two to three, [Kiely] picked the team on form - and then provided motivation to one of the best players we have.”
Hickey also pointed out that no player is bigger than the team - nor should they be treated as such.
“If you look outside Limerick - at Dublin, for instance - was there anyone there that was more important than the team? Was Diarmuid Connolly more important than the team? No.”
“Now, [Limerick] won the game; I think it’s sometimes easier to make a point when you lose the game.”
“It’s easy from the outside to say that someone’s a more talented player, but with players, and I know myself, you’re not at the same level all the time.”
“Different things off the field - home life, work - they affect your performance and your mental state, and sometimes you’re just not hitting it.”
“Sometimes you need a recalibration, and I thought it was a masterful recalibration from Gillane.”