Friday 30 September 2016

McGrath upbeat ahead of Model date

Michael Verney

Published 23/07/2016 | 02:30

'Wexford make just one change with Harry Kehoe (pictured) coming into attack for the injured Podge Doran. Photo: Sportsfile
'Wexford make just one change with Harry Kehoe (pictured) coming into attack for the injured Podge Doran. Photo: Sportsfile

The pep is back in Derek McGrath's step after Waterford's crushing Munster final defeat with the Déise boss outlining how a phone call from Eamonn Fitzmaurice has helped to lift his spirits.

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McGrath was devastated after a harrowing 21-point loss to Tipp two weeks ago but some kind words from the Kerry football manager have helped ease the disappointment.

"I got a lovely call from Eamonn, I'd be friendly with him from college.

"It was just a lovely call reinforcing his own beliefs and what he's had to put up with down in Kerry which is probably 100 times the scale of what happens in Waterford based on expectancy in Kerry each year," he told WLR FM.

"The amount of positivity I received personally after the Tipp game was really heartening. It keeps you going, drives you on to realise that success doesn't happen in a straight line, I suppose."

McGrath named the same starting 15 for tomorrow's All-Ireland SHC quarter-final and expects his side to bounce back.

"We have a very resilient group. The reality is some of our players just underperformed on the day and that can happen. We don't think that there'll be any long-term effects from the nature of the defeat," he said.

Their opponents Wexford make just one change with Harry Kehoe coming into attack for the injured Podge Doran while defender James Breen is surprisingly named to start despite manager Liam Dunne revealing that he played through their win against Cork with viral meningitis.

Elsewhere, Liam Kearns has kept the faith with his Tipperary side to face Derry while former Premier dual star Brendan Cummins believes they can cause another upset.

"They have a huge chance and the next thing is to try get to play at Croke Park. I think that's what the focus of the panel of players will be. Who knows then from there. Momentum is huge," he said.

TIPPERARY (SF v Derry) - E Comerford; C O'Shaughnessy, A Campbell, C McDonald; B Maher, R Kiely, J Feehan; P Acheson, G Hannigan; J Keane, K O'Halloran, B Fox; P Austin, M Quinlivan, C Sweeney.
WEXFORD (SH v Waterford) - M Fanning; E Moore, M O'Hanlon, J Breen; D O'Keeffe, P Foley, E Martin; J O'Connor, E Conroy; L Og McGovern, L Chin, H Kehoe; P Morris, C McDonald, D Dunne.
WATERFORD (SH v Wexford) - S O'Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; T de Burca, A Gleeson, Philip Mahony; J Barron, D Fives; K Moran, S Bennett, M Walsh; P Curran, Pauric Mahony, M Shanahan.

Irish Independent

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