Déise suffer forward blow as Devine jets off for summer
Waterford have suffered a major setback ahead of their bid for Munster and All-Ireland SHC honours with powerful forward Tom Devine leaving the Déise panel for the rest of the season to take advantage of his "last chance to travel for a summer".
Devine fired 2-1 in their league quarter-final loss to Galway, as well as the match-winning goal against Clare last month, and in a statement released over the weekend the U-21 All-Ireland winner said the decision to opt out was not taken lightly.
The UCC medical student informed Derek McGrath of his intentions last Monday and insisted that the management team's "holistic attitude towards both life and sport" meant he left with their full blessing.
"With college and career demands looming large in the next year or two, this is essentially my last chance to travel for a summer. It's something I've always wanted to do but have been putting off for a few years now," the Modeligo attacker's statement read.
"And this year I simply can't pass the opportunity to travel. The decision was not an easy one to make on my behalf. Derek and Dan (Shanahan) have always had a holistic attitude towards both life and sport and have always wanted the best for us players in all aspects of life. I'm glad to be leaving with their blessing."
Waterford have a ready-made replacement in former All-Star forward Maurice Shanahan, another strong, athletic ball-winner, but as they bid to claim their first Liam MacCarthy since 1959, Devine's departure is a headache that McGrath and his selectors could do without as championship looms.