Wednesday 27 March 2019

Derek McGrath to resist calls to stay on with Waterford

Manager poised to end Waterford stint after five years in charge despite backing of players

Waterford manager Derek McGrath. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Waterford manager Derek McGrath. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Derek McGrath is set to end his five years in charge of the Waterford senior hurlers following a difficult season which saw the Déise exit the Munster SHC at the round-robin stages and suffer relegation to Division 1B of the league.

It is understood that McGrath will officially part ways next week following the completion of their provincial campaign - they play Cork in their final game on Sunday but are already knocked out - despite having the full backing of the Waterford squad.

McGrath stated earlier this year that this would be his last season at the helm but after a litany of injuries robbed him of key personnel this summer - and Tipperary's 'ghost' goal denied them victory in round two - there have been calls for him to continue into 2019.

The 42-year-old hit the headlines last year having taken leave from his job as English teacher in De La Salle College to concentrate solely on Waterford and he guided them to a first All-Ireland SHC final since 2008 - where they fell to Galway by three points last September.

Waterford's style of play under McGrath - and the utilisation of a sweeper system - has brought some criticism his way but it took them to within a puck of a ball of Liam MacCarthy success as well as collecting league honours from Division 1B three years ago.

Déise legend Dan Shanahan is also expected to leave his role as selector on the management team next week and 2016 All-Ireland U-21-winning manager Seán Power is the likely frontrunner to replace McGrath in the Waterford hot seat.

Irish Independent

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