Saturday 20 October 2018

John Mullane: Shut down Walsh Park and give it a total revamp

         

Waterford legend John Mullane. Photo: Sportsfile
Waterford legend John Mullane. Photo: Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Waterford legend John Mullane has called for a "total revamp" of Walsh Park and expressed serious concern at its viability as a venue for this year's Munster SHC round-robin series.

The five-time All-Star attacker believes Déise chiefs should "shut the place down" immediately and make a swift decision where they will face Tipperary (June 3) and Cork (June 17) in the provincial championship.

"I hate to say it as a Waterford city man but that venue is not up to holding a Munster championship game during the summer, particularly Cork and Tipperary," Mullane told The Throw-In on Independent.ie.

"Shut the place down and do a total revamp on it and make a decision on it this whether we're going to play Cork and Tipperary in different venues."

"AT the current moment in time, Walsh Park does not suit this current Waterford team, we haven't won in Walsh Park since February 2016 and that's another worry before the summer."

Following the Déise's comprehensive home defeat to Kilkenny on Sunday - their third consecutive loss in this year's Division 1A campaign - Mullane also feels clarity is needed from manager Derek McGrath on whether former All-Ireland U-21 winner Shane Bennett, who is currently taking time out of the inter-county scene, will be returning to the fold.

"We have to get Shane Bennett back into that forward division. Waterford supporters have to find out, is he coming back? When is he coming back? What's the timeline? Judging on the first three games, Waterford hurling certainly needs Shane Bennett."

Mullane fears relegation is looming for last year's All-Ireland finalists unless they make a noticeable improvement in their final two games against Munster rivals Cork and Clare.

The De La Salle clubman also feels the Dublin hurlers and new boss Pat Gilroy are feeling the heat in Division 1B with Mullane believing that the 2011 All-Ireland-winning SFC manager may have signed his "death warrant" by taking the post.

"I thought Dublin were just abysmal against Limerick. I can't get over how far they have regressed and I just ask the question - has Pat Gilroy signed his death warrant by taking on this Dublin job? It's a massive job he has, albeit they're down the Cuala contingent," he said.

"Some of their play on Saturday night was pre the Anthony Daly era back in the mid-noughties where they knew their fate going down playing in some games down the country. I think it's worrying times for Dublin."

Subscribe to The Throw-In, Independent.ie's weekly GAA podcast in association with Allianz, for the best in GAA discussion and analysis every week, with some of the biggest names in football and hurling from Joe Brolly, Tomás Ó'Sé and John Mullane.

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Irish Independent

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