Balance is one of the main words that comes to mind when you think of Seán Finn, and not just on the pitch.
Inn has been a force of nature for the Limerick Hurlers, who won four straight All-Stars on defense, but that hasn’t hampered the 26-year-old’s development outside the white lines with his final accounting exams just around the corner.
Spinning the plates of inter-county commitments and a demanding job isn’t for everyone, but the Bruff defender loves to keep busy and mastery of time management has enabled the PwC rep to run the show on both fronts to keep going.
While his contracted career is in full bloom with John Kiely’s side chasing a hat-trick of All-Ireland crowns, Finn has no intention of being left behind when his playing days come about.
“I took a year off after the 2018 final and enjoyed it. I’ve been on vacation a few times and enjoyed the few months, but I kinda felt like I had to do something. When the GAA is over, you get forgotten pretty quickly,” says Finn.
“So it’s important that you have something and you connect with a career and not just a GAA player, so I’ve definitely found that and I know how important that is because eventually the GAA will move on.”
That time away from the inter-county bubble opened Finn’s mind, but he feels “the grass is always greener” and he wouldn’t trade his “privileged position” with hurling’s standard-bearers.
“You meet a lot of your friends over there in Dubai or Australia and there’s always the idea, ‘Janey, I’d like to stay over there for a few years’, but the grass is always greener,” says the Student Enterprise Program ambassador before the national Finale 2021/’22 on May 18th at The Helix in DCU.
“I read an interesting one a few months ago that we’re very lucky to be training with 36 of your really close friends and you forget that a lot sometimes, so sometimes you need to remind yourself you’re in a desperately lucky one Situation.
“It is a dream of yours to be on a successful team for as long as we have been, but I may have the opportunity to do so for a few years when the GAA ends.
“There’s definitely more to life than the GAA, but I suppose it really comes down to the individual. I know if I walked away I would miss it. You would miss the competitive environment that you train in for the few months, but you would miss the games and the excitement after the games and stuff like that.”
A disappointing league campaign with just one win from five games had many questioning Limerick’s prospects for 2022, with Finn admitting “that narrative slips easily into your head”, but they have responded spectacularly.
He was always confident things would go well and defeats to Cork and Waterford have put them in pole position ahead of Sunday’s encounter with a Tipperary side he described as a “dangerous team” despite a demoralizing defeat to Clare looks at
Finn isn’t one to sling around too much outside of his own career, as the UFC is a popular port of call and something he follows “most weekends” as well as being a longtime Arsenal supporter.
“Sometimes it’s hard for me to watch hurling games as a spectator. I find that difficult sometimes because you can put so much energy into something that you don’t need, so it’s nice to have a sport that you enjoy watching, where you don’t care who wins,” he says.
Finn helped redefine the role of a cornerback with his ability to obliterate most of the game’s best forwards while also putting his side on the front foot, but like many others in that position, he’s not there by choice.
Since settling there as a minor, he recognizes that a certain mentality needs to be developed when fulfilling the role of a ‘stopper’ and he sympathizes with Mayo defender Pádraig O’Hora’s ‘unfair scrutiny’ after the Loss in the league final.
“There has to be an element of aggression and a bit of meanness sometimes. It might not look good when you see someone yelling. You see, Pádraig O’Hora, he gave a lot of that to David Clifford, but if he were on your team, you would expect that from him.
“He wanted to hand over a guy like him (Clifford). He’s been unfairly scrutinized because if he were on your team you’d expect him to try and piss off a guy like him. So maybe a bit of that, but also serenity.
“You also have to play the ball and not fall in love with the other player too much. I’ve never really engaged with other players either, but there might come a time when I’m marking a player and I’m not able for him and I might need to bring that into my game.”
Finn has been a beacon of consistency for Limerick and his ability to accept mistakes, even when they are very rare, is a lesson for any player.
“I’ve learned a lot over the past few years when it comes to tagging top-flight strikers, they’re going to score points. As an adult, you might be a little tough, focus on one particular player and if he gets two points that you weren’t responsible for, you might take it a little harder.
“But the caliber of player you tag these days is going to score points. Sometimes you would be conservative and maybe accept a point more than a goal. I’ve learned to accept a score instead of being punished a little more.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/hurling/sean-finn-theres-definitely-more-to-life-than-the-gaa-but-i-know-if-i-stepped-away-i-would-miss-it-41612349.html Seán Finn – “There’s definitely more to life than the GAA…. But I know if I go away I’d miss it.