Perfection in sport is something, while admired, often hard to attain.

On the eve of another All-Ireland appearance for his club, Ballyhale Shamrocks Joey Holden talks much about "work rate" and "focus" as the stepping stones to achieving greatness. He goes even further by saying how learning from your mistakes can also reap dividends.

Holden goes in search of a third All-Ireland medal when the Kilkenny champions take on St Thomas’ from Galway in the hurling club decider at Croke Park on Sunday next, throw-in  2pm.

And while both sides possess much talent, the 28-year-old defender told RTÉ Sport that "quality is no good if you don't work hard".

He continued: "That should be the backbone of every team; Work ethic is part and parcel of every team. Every team says 'they are going to work hard' but you have to prove it out on the field.

"Sometimes we have worked hard, other times we have not and have been caught out. You learn harsh lessons.

Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Adrian Mullen and Billy O'Keeffe of Ballygunner

I would hope that every day we go out, we would work on our weaknesses. We made mistakes against Ballygunner (All-Ireland semi-final) and we will make mistakes against St Thomas'. Mistakes don't kill you, in my opinion you have to have no fear in going out and making mistakes. You’re only human, you are going out to try and do your best.

"It’s that focus and work rate that in the end can get you over the line."

Reflecting on Ballyhale’s march to the final, Holden added: "The aim at the start of the year was to be competitive in the county championship and ultimately win it and that's what we done. After that you look forward to Leinster.

We played Naomh Éanna and Ballyboden St Enda's and got the job done. We enjoyed the Christmas and everyone made sure they enjoyed Christmas because that's what it is there for.

We then got back into training because we knew Ballygunner were a serious outfit. They pushed us to the pin of our collar. We managed to scrape through in muck and wet. And now it's a seriously strong team in St Thomas' who have the likes of Conor Cooney and David Burke in their ranks.

Follow the All-Ireland club finals with our live blog on RTÉ.ie and RTÉ News Now from 2pm and listen live on RTÉ Radio 1.