It’s hard to believe it’s seven years since Darren Sweetnam made his senior hurling championship debut for Cork as a 19-year old, but his sole focus now is trying to end Munster’s barren spell without silverware.
That drought runs since winning the league in 2011, a year before the multi-talented Sweetnam made his breakthrough in the Munster senior hurling championship. He’s chalked up 76 appearances and scored 17 tries for Munster since turning his back on promising hurling and hockey careers and reckons the province are building something special. The key thing now will be to end their dismal European semi-final run, as well as bid for the PRO14, but Sweetnam, who will be 26 next month, reckons they now have the squad depth to do that. He pointed to their comeback win in Treviso last weekend with an understrength side, with players pushing for inclusion at the business end of the season.
“I think that’s why we are going so well. Everybody is pushing everybody on, because there is so much strength in depth in the squad. Everybody wants to put their best foot forward.”
Over 7,000 fans were in Stadio Monigo for last weekend’s clash.
“I played there two years ago, but never experienced an atmosphere like that here, it was like they were on top of you,” said Sweetnam.
“They hadn’t lost at home since November, but we were delighted to get the win and there was a great buzz in the dressing room afterward. It set things up well for the week. Alex McHenry got his first cap for Munster and I think Shane Daly got his first try for Munster.