Dublin’s David O’Callaghan is relishing the opportunity of playing Tipperary in the Allianz HL semi-final.
Anthony Daly’s side set up Sunday’s clash by virtue of their Division 1B final win over Limerick. It was a narrow success, but one that should leave them in good spirits to face the Premier at Semple Stadium.
O’Callaghan feels it can only benefit the squad to be involved in big games again as they strive to atone for a below par year in 2012.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: “Every hurler wants to come down to Thurles, you want to play in the big matches, so it’s definitely a challenge we are all excited about.
“You have to believe you can win. Tipperary are in great form and are an excellent team, but it makes for a good game and we’re looking forward to testing ourselves.”
Despite gaining promotion back to the top flight for 2014, the St Mark’s player says Dublin have not really played to their full potential yet this year.
“A lot of us have had a lot of experience, highs and lows, and there’s a bit of maturity there [but] we would feel that we haven’t hurled to our optimum yet.
“We’re hoping that we can get the shackles off, hurl a bit better, especially after achieving promotion."
"I think everybody is just happy to put the heads down and get on with the job" - David O’Callaghan
“I wouldn’t really say we’re in bonus territory at the moment. We are where we are - in the semi-finals of the league. We had a great time two years ago when we won the competition, so we’ll be going all out to try and win on Sunday.
"The whole squad has put in a huge effort to try and make up for the disappointment of 2012. If you look at last year and a couple of the league games we lost, we were unfortunate enough, losing by a point here and there.
“I think everybody is just happy to put the heads down and get on with the job, putting in the work and right the wrongs of last year.”
Live radio coverage of the Allianz National Leagues from 14:00 on Sunday 21 April on RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ RnaG and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide). Highlights of all the weekend’s Allianz League action on League Sunday on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only) from 19:30.