Monday 20 May 2019

Only Kilkenny beats Déise for managerial stability

Breheny Beat

Former Waterford manager Derek McGrath. Photo: Sportsfile
Former Waterford manager Derek McGrath. Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

If Waterford's history is anything to go by, Derek McGrath's replacement can expect to be given plenty of time to stamp his personality on the job, something that's becoming increasingly rare in the volatile world of team management.

With the obvious exception of Kilkenny, no county has had fewer hurling managers than Waterford over the last 21 years, when only five have held the position.

Gerald McCarthy was there in 1997-2001, after which Justin McCarthy took over.

He remained until the summer of 2008 when forced out by a player rebellion midway through the championship.

Davy Fitzgerald stepped in and stayed on until after the 2011 championship, when he departed and was replaced by Michael Ryan. His was the shortest term (2012-'13), after which McGrath came in and presided for five seasons.

The sideline circuit is far less stable in several other counties, especially Limerick, Laois and Offaly, each of whom have had 11 different managers over the last 20 years. That will increase to 12 in Laois shortly, where Eamonn Kelly recently quit.

Elsewhere, the 20-year count is as follows: Cork, Antrim 9; Tipperary, Dublin, Clare 8; Galway, Wexford 7.

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