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Blow for Waterford as Stephen O'Keeffe opts to take a year out


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Stephen O'Keefe. Photo: Sportsfile

Stephen O'Keefe. Photo: Sportsfile

Stephen O'Keefe. Photo: Sportsfile

Waterford have been hit with a killer blow ahead of the 2021 season, with goalkeeper Stephen O'Keeffe taking a year out from the county scene in the wake of their All-Ireland SHC final defeat to Limerick earlier this month.

O'Keeffe has been Waterford's No 1 since the summer of 2012, but the former All-Star will be unavailable next year having informed Déise hurling boss Liam Cahill that he will not be part of his squad.

Waterford officials released a statement yesterday confirming the news, while it also fuelled speculation that the 29-year-old may have closed the door on his county career, much like his Ballygunner clubmate Philip Mahony did this time last year.

O'Keeffe was an ever-present between the sticks in the Déise's memorable run to the All-Ireland final, when he impressed in defeat, but his understudy Billy Nolan is likely to be parachuted into the pivotal position in O'Keeffe's absence as Waterford bid to go one better next year.

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