Monday 24 April 2017

Deise devotee Keith wants to conjure up a hurling All-Ireland

Colin Gleeson

CELEBRITY illusionist Keith Barry has offered his "mind coaching" services to his native county's senior hurlers, in their bid to end a 51-year wait for the All-Ireland senior crown.

The magician from Williamstown, Co Waterford said he was "desperate" to see his county, nicknamed the Deise, erase painful memories of the 2008 final when Kilkenny thrashed them by 17 points.

Baggage

Munster champions Waterford will take on last year's finalists Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final on Sunday week.

"Not a single Waterford supporter wants to go through what happened in the 2008 final again," said Mr Barry.

He said he believed Championship defeats to Kilkenny in 1998, 2004, 2008 and 2009 had to be weighing on the minds of the Waterford panel.

"There's got to be some element of baggage from that All-Ireland loss.

"I'd be willing to sit down with every player on the panel individually and help eliminate whatever fear, even the unknowing fear they have of that Kilkenny jersey, completely from their system.

"Now, I'm not putting the cart before the horse, we've got to play Tipp in the semi-final first and Kilkenny have to play Cork too, but I know I can help the players.

"By talking to each player, by focusing their minds on the challenge of achieving success rather than dwelling on the obstacle provided by one particular set of opponents, I'd effectively neutralise Kilkenny.

"I know I can help. So if the County Board want me to help -- that's their call," he added.

Irish Independent

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