‘Not being able to captain Kilkenny to All-Ireland title was tough’ – Buckley
CILLIAN Buckley has spoken of his regret at being unable to lift the Liam McCarthy Cup as Kilkenny captain.
Dicksboro won the 2017 Kilkenny SHC title, ending a 24-year wait for glory. As county champions nominate a player to skipper the inter-county side, and Buckley was an obvious choice for the job.
Buckley (26) captained Brian Cody’s side to the 2018 NHL title before coming up short against Galway after a Leinster final replay. A week later, Buckley’s dreams were left in tatters when Limerick defeated the Cats in the quarter-finals on route to their first taste of All-Ireland glory in 45 years.
Buckley said: “This year was tough. It was great to captain the team to a league title but at the start of the year I had ambitions and the intention was to captain the team to an All-Ireland.
“I find it tough . . . what could have been. Personally, I don’t go to the final. We get two All-Ireland tickets and my dad is given first refusal. After that, they’re sent elsewhere.
“It was a great honour to be captain and I wanted to make the most of it. Step one was the league and we were on a great run. Then we got within minutes of lifting the Leinster trophy in July.
“You just want to win an All-Ireland first of all but it added an extra incentive to get your hands on a cup as captain. It just adds to the disappointment but it’s not to say I’ll go about 2019 any differently.
“It’s the medal you’re after and those are the feelings you chase more than anything. I watched the final with Limerick and Galway on TV and it was a serious spectacle. But would I rather have been down there myself involved — 100 per cent.
“It’s a date you want to be out on Croke Park and not looking at it on telly.”
Buckley was speaking at the launch of the Wild Geese Trophy at the Australian embassy in Dublin. The trophy will be awarded to the winners of an inaugural clash between Kilkenny and Galway at the Spotless Stadium in Sydney, Australia, on November 11 as part of the Magners Sydney Irish Festival.
The Tribesmen are expected to be close to full strength for their trip Down Under.
However, Kilkenny may to be without their Ballyhale Shamrocks contingent who are preparing for their Leinster club SHC campaign.
The game will be shown on RTE television.