In 2015 Naas beat Ballyhale Shamrocks 6-12 to 0-06 in the Kilkenny Under-16 Division One Shield hurling final.

Out of the squad that togged out for the Kildare champions to play Oylegate-Glenbrien in the AIB Leinster intermediate hurling club final yesterday, 11 of that panel from 2015 were present.

And each player who represented the club in that historic provincial win started out in the underage nursery, run by stalwart John Holmes.

Holmes was asked to present the Naas team with their shirts before the Kildare decider and it was a fitting tribute because much of the success that is being harvested now is as a result of the seeds sown by Holmes.

"Every player would have huge respect for John and our manager Tom Mulally and his selectors would be conscious of that," said chairman Austin Bergin.

There are many others in Naas hurling circles likes Holmes, including Morgan Lawlor and Denis Hanley who continued to plough the furrow when the return was not a rich one. Currently, their underage structure is buzzing with the energy and enthusiasm that those men always held.

A number of milestones have been reached in the past decade.

"The co-operation that we have received in terms of dual players and that environment has helped us no end," Bergin added.

"We have James Burke and Brian Byrne playing both codes and it has been great. There have been no issues on that front for the last four years.

"In 2017 Naas CBS won a Leinster Colleges 'B' title and that was another landmark.

"From the age of eight to 12 our underage hurlers play in Kildare but also play in the Dublin leagues. At ages 13, 15 and 17 they play in Kildare and Kilkenny.

"The success of Kildare hurling last year with the Under-20s beating Wexford and the minors and seniors going so well is another positive development.

"Winning three in a row county senior hurling titles, we never did that before and then this year winning the double with the footballers claiming the senior title in Kildare, we never did that before either."

There is little time to rest. Next Sunday they play an impressive Tooreen side in the AIB All-Ireland intermediate hurling semi-final. Tooreen have won three of the last four Connacht intermediate titles.

"Well, the hard work continues regardless of whatever happens," Bergin stressed.

"In the background people like Liam Greene, Eoin Moore, David Delahunty and John Burke are working away and on the field Tom, his management and players are all preparing for the next game.

"It’s nice to be making progress all the time but it’s hard work, having structures and a pathway that makes it all possible."

"The hard work continues regardless of whatever happens."

Around a quarter of a century ago Naas fielded in the Under-16 C hurling, the lowest grade in the county at the time. Their team comprised some Under-13 and camogie players so they could compete in the competition.

Since then, work has been relentless in driving the game forward. The town’s population has increased but there is still a battle to get players hurling as football, soccer and rugby are also very popular in the area.

The club runs a very successful Under-10 national tournament and underage sides travel the country seeking out opposition with varying styles.

A ‘Hurling on the Green’ series encourages kids and underage players to go into the communities and play on the green areas in local estates.

At the other end of the scale Naas supplies a healthy representation to the Kildare senior, Under-20 and minor sides. Their players are starting to get more of a showing in competitions like the Fitzgibbon Cup.

It has all added up. With a quality manager in Mullally at the helm and a close connection between the club’s underage and adult structures, it is a united Naas team that drives on in the next stage of their journey.