Friday 16 November 2018

Nowlan best option for Déise - Connors

Noel Connors doesn’t believe Kildare’s success with their celebrated ‘Newbridge or nowhere’ stand has put a question mark over Waterford’s decision to play their home games in the Munster SHC outside of Walsh Park. (stock picture)
Noel Connors doesn’t believe Kildare’s success with their celebrated ‘Newbridge or nowhere’ stand has put a question mark over Waterford’s decision to play their home games in the Munster SHC outside of Walsh Park. (stock picture)
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Noel Connors doesn't believe Kildare's success with their celebrated 'Newbridge or nowhere' stand has put a question mark over Waterford's decision to play their home games in the Munster SHC outside of Walsh Park.

The Lilywhites managed to resist the GAA's attempt to have them play a home qualifier in Croke Park, while the Déise staged their 'home' matches in Limerick and Thurles due to Walsh Park's unsuitably. However, Connors insists events in Kildare didn't change much for them.

"We were very clear early on that we weren't going to be at home," Connors said. "It was nearly an acceptable process for us. We knew early on we weren't going to play in Walsh Park or Fraher Field, so we just accepted it and tried to get on with it. It was more the distance that was the issue for us.

"Obviously, we were in Ennis first and then Limerick and Limerick, which, for us, you are talking about a three-hour journeys three weeks in a row. It is hard enough, psychologically, to play three weeks in a row, but having the added travel up and down, having to get off the bus after a long period of time, being warm and all that stuff.

"They are all factors you have to take into account."

Connors accepts that playing at home could have made a significant difference to their luckless campaign and believes that, should rule allow, Kilkenny's Nowlan Park would be their preferred venue for 2019 as long as Walsh Park is deemed unsuitable.

"Nowlan Park would be great. Either Nowlan Park or Thurles. Ideally, we'd like to play in Walsh Park given the stats and all that stuff, as in if you're away from home you have a 30pc chance of winning, all that stuff. They are the true facts. If you are moving beyond Walsh Park, Nowlan Park or Thurles."

Irish Independent

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