Mac says the mood is good
Wexford full-forward Conor McDonald has hailed the mood inside the Model county camp ahead of their All-Ireland Under-21 final clash with Limerick.
The Naomh Eanna clubman said: 'The spirit is brilliant. We all went back to our clubs after the Antrim game, but eagerly looked forward to returning to preparations for the final. I think the lads could not wait to get back.
'The training has picked up, the spirit is outstanding, and the preparations are moving along excellently. The lads have all returned fully fit following the club action and this has united us as well.'
Playing in his third Under-21 campaign having made his first Senior appearance at the tender age of 18 years, McDonald sees this as a real opportunity to end that 50-year barren spell.
'I believe the start will be crucial. We will need to bring that intensity to our game from the very start, lay down our own pattern of play and not wait to see what they bring. A good start will give us belief that we are capable of performing, but we are also aware that it will take a bigger effort, a bigger performance, to come out on top than we have given in any of our games to date.
'We're capable of that improvement, we can improve on all our games, and even bring more intensity to our game than that witnessed against Kilkenny. We can't worry too much about what Limerick will do, we will just have to concentrate on our own game, concentrate on each man-to-man duel, win the individual battles, and then see what the Limerick response will be,' he said.
'We can only worry about getting ourselves right, having bodies ready and getting into the game. It's important to get a good start, after that the game takes on a life of its own. Limerick will be everybody's favourites but we are concentrating on our own performance.
'Limerick have put in some impressive performances, but it's all very well doing it in earlier games. While good teams do that all the time we believe we can turn in a performance which hopefully will be good enough on the day to get us across the line.'
McDonald despite his tender age will be one of the most experienced players on the pitch, having already had two full seasons at Senior inter-county level, having made his debut in the qualifier game to Clare as a substitute in 2013. He has been an ever-present since that day in Semple Stadium both at Under-21 and Senior levels. He came on late in that Clare game but still showed enough of the potential he carried.
While he had been operating at the highest level for those years, he is eagerly looking forward to this game.
'We can't have any fear going into this game. We've said at the start of the year the All-Ireland was our goal. We are now just 60 minutes away from achieving that goal so we cannot allow it slip. I know we will have to be clinical in our play as it's going to take a huge effort.
'We've trained hard all year but it's whoever is most efficient in front of goal and makes the least number of mistakes that will come out on top.
'We are well capable of doing it. We've put in the hard training which will wind down this week after a heavy weekend of preparation. I don't think it's a worry from that point of view.
'We are going to be coming up against better opposition, better than we've already met, so it's going to be a huge assignment against a formidable team and it's one that we are really looking forward to, having a right go and seeing where it takes us.