After a wait of 45 years, Limerick rightly rejoiced last August when Liam MacCarthy returned to the county. For Aaron Gillane, however, it was very much a case of drawing a line on the revelry once 2019 dawned.

"The idea of winning the All-Ireland again next August was a great incentive to go back training," remarked the star forward.

It’s been a near perfect start to the year for Limerick, with a home defeat to Cork in the Allianz League their only reverse so far. On Sunday, Gillane and his colleagues will head to Croke Park for the Division 1 decider against Waterford (2pm), all part of being in the thick of it for the 23-year-old.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport ahead of the decider, he said: "You can celebrate too much after the All-Ireland, you won't be long getting sick of it.

"Once you finished with your club, you have a few weeks off but you can get bored doing nothing as well.  And what you don’t want is to be letting yourself down acting the fool around the place."

Gillane jumps for joy on the Croke Park turf last August

Measured words indeed, an indication that Limerick don’t want to be seen as a one-year wonder.

Getting to the spring decider is a signal of their early intent in a campaign where the likes of Conor Boylan and Paddy O’Loughlin have got their chance to challenge for starting places.

"It’s great to be a Limerick hurler at the moment and it’s great to be in another final at Croke Park. Last year boosted the confidence levels of everybody involved, but what happened then doesn't have any effect on how hard we train now. We're training as hard as ever.

"As for the new lads, well John (Kiely) is not bringing players in to give them a bit of game-time, they are worthy starters and are flying in training.

"They deserve that starters jersey and are putting pressure on the rest. No one is guaranteed a place just because they started last year."

To further indicate a grounded approach, the Patrickswell clubman is firmly focused on winning a league medal – no talk of what’s to come in the summer.

"If we look beyond Sunday, then we’re going to get a hammering against Waterford," he added.

"All our attention is on them. Waterford have been flying it in the last few weeks and they twice beat Galway.

"No one in the Limerick panel has an Allianz League medal at the end of the day and we'll be going all out to win it."

"The summer will still be there in the summer time."

Gillane is the top scorer in the league with 1-36. He also was part of the Mary I side that contested this year’s Fitzgibbon Cup final.

Such is his love of hurling that it was never a problem trying to combine inter-county and college activity.

Aaron Gillane in the jersey of Mary I

"I enjoy hurling. There's no point going on the field with the weight of the world on your shoulders. It's only going to hold you back. No point going out with things bottled up inside you. You have to go out with freedom and express yourself.

"People have this opinion that if you're playing Fitzgibbon Cup and training with a county team that you're out seven nights a week. You're doing the same amount as if you are with the county team because your load is monitored perfectly by the strength and conditioning trainer.

"I have no complaints doing both. You can't beat playing matches. There is no point saying otherwise. I really enjoy playing the Fitzgibbon Cup. It's my last year in Mary I so i'm going to be sad to leave the place."

Limerick v Waterford live blog on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News Now App from 1.30pm on Sunday. Live radio commentary on Sunday Sport, Radio 1, from 2pm. Highlights on Allianz League Sunday on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player from 9.30pm.