GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Diarmuid O'Keeffe delights in Wexford's Leinster success
Last Updated: 10/07/19 3:48pm
The silverware keeps on coming for Wexford hurler Diarmuid O'Keeffe. Fresh from helping his county to a first Leinster title since 2004, the St Anne's club man was crowned Player of the Month for June.
However, he was a while waiting for an individual gong.
"First time ever. That can go along with my U12 'most improved player of the year' award for soccer," he laughed. "Absolutely delighted."
The Model County are in dreamland right now, having delivered a historic Bob O'Keeffe Cup triumph with a 1-23 to 0-23 Leinster final was over Kilkenny.
The celebrations lasted long into Sunday night and into the following days.
"The scenes in Gorey were something unreal," he said of the homecoming. "Everyone was out on the street. The main street on Gorey is 700m or 800m long and it possibly took us an hour to get through it. It was just crazy.
"We went through Ferns and Enniscorthy, Oilgate as well, it was probably a little bit later in the night so it was a bit quieter but there was still plenty of people out.
"It was great to be part of it."
Given there is a four-week break to the All-Ireland semi-final, they were allowed to enjoy their achievement fully.
"I'd recovered by Monday evening. We got Tuesday out of it as well - Davy was very good to us," O'Keeffe added.
"It was back to training on Thursday.
"When you don't win something for so long and then you do get a bit of silverware, it important to enjoy it. Some of the younger guys like Conor McDonald and Rory (O'Connor) would have Leinster U21 medals but the likes of us haven't any medals to show for it."
Hurling fever has swept the county as they prepare for their first All-Ireland semi-final since 2007.
"Every conversation you have is about hurling," he added. "It's largely down to the fact that it's been 15 years since we won a Leinster Championship. We're just trying to focus on putting that to one side for the moment and getting ready for two-and-a-half weeks' time - that's really important.
"While we really enjoyed it at the time, it's time to leave that to the side for the moment.
"On a personal level it's all about trying to improve yourself week after week and game after game, and that adds to a team performance then and team improvement. I think it's up there with the rest."
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The All-Ireland quarter-final has proved a stumbling block for Wexford in recent years - having been eliminated from the championship at the stage in four of the last five years. For O'Keeffe, he's relishing having his feet up this weekend, knowing they are safely through to the last four.
He said: "We won't look at them as a team. But I'd say the majority of lads will be looking at them. I suppose you'll be looking at the games from an enjoyment point of view more than anything.
"Following that, whether it's Laois or Tipperary we'll zone in on specifics."
Sky Sports' live GAA coverage continues this weekend, with Roscommon vs Tyrone and Donegal vs Meath in the Super 8s.