Thursday 19 July 2018

'What the Waterford footballer thinks doesn't come into it'

Tom McGlinchey: Feels dismissed. Photo: Sportsfile
Tom McGlinchey: Feels dismissed. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

You don't have to scratch too far beneath the surface with Waterford football manager Tom McGlinchey to discover a deep-seated frustration.

Part of it stems from the feeling that he's pushing a boulder up a hill. Six of the team that pushed Cork hard 12 months ago aren't available for one reason or another this season. The rest of his frustration lies with the feeling that sides like his are being cut adrift from the rest of the GAA.

"That was the hope," he replied when asked if he planned on building on the near miss against Cork in the Munster SFC last year.

"They say a week is a long time in politics. Well, six months is a long time in football because the Cork game, six of the first team aren't available to me now. Four very serious long-term injuries, and two guys not available for one reason or another and would have started this year. But again it gave a chance to me to bring in new players.

Build

"The league was disappointing because we had hoped to build on the Cork game from last year and it obviously it didn't work out (seventh in Division 4).

"We'll see how we get on, on (May 19 against Tipperary) but it's going to be very difficult.

"We are starting with practically 50pc of a new panel and it's going to be hard to bring them up to the standard that's required for senior inter-county."

Waterford have their own problems but McGlinchey doesn't feel they're getting much help.

McGlinchey has already made clear his unhappiness at the decision to shelve a round of football league fixtures.

Ironically, they played that fixture when meeting Laois for a challenge recently.

And he believes the new championship structure only ensures that the gap will widen between the haves and the have-nots.

"This isn't being smart and facetious. What the Waterford footballer thinks doesn't really come into it like.

"We saw that with what happened with that league game. The four counties came up with what was a sensible solution and it was dismissed.

"Realistically what Division 4, Division 3 teams think, it doesn't really matter, let's be realistic about it.

"It's all about the 'Super 8s', getting exposure. They are kind of forgetting now about the provincial championships. They are all putting their eggs into the 'Super 8s'.

"What did I see there? The BBC have now pulled out of the Ulster championship, and are only showing two games is it up there?

"RTÉ are only showing two of the Munster football games. Like, it's all about the 'Super 8s', you will see it over the next couple of years.

"Unfortunately you will probably see the provincial championships will just drift away. That's my view on it.

"I think you will see a stage where it will just be all about 'Super 8s' in hurling and 'Super 8s' in football, and it will come down the line because everyone thought that the Munster championship would never be changed and here we are now.

"We are talking about running off a round-robin in five weeks (in hurling), the same in the Leinster championship, and just to get to this magic 'Super 8s', and the big will get bigger and the small will just get left aside."

Irish Independent

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