Monday 25 March 2019

Waterford eye up double All Ireland winner as new boss to replace Derek McGrath

Mattie Kenny. Photo: Sportsfile
Mattie Kenny. Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Mattie Kenny, who led Dublin champions Cuala to the last two All-Ireland senior club hurling titles, could be on his way to Waterford as Derek McGrath's replacement.

It's understood that the Galway man is a top target among Waterford power-brokers who are impressed by his achievements. In addition to his success with Cuala, he also has inter-county experience, having worked with Anthony Cunningham during part of his term as Galway manager.

Pat Ryan (Cork) was early favourite to replace McGrath, but he ruled himself out. Kenny (right) looks an ideal fit after doing so well with Cuala, who this year became the first club since Portumna in 2008-2009 to win successive club hurling titles.

Cuala would be reluctant to let him go, but the chance to manage a top inter-county squad is a massive opportunity for any manager.

Waterford's prospects were severely hit by injuries this year, as they dropped out of Division 1A and endured a tough Munster Championship where they lost to Clare, Limerick and Cork and drew with Tipperary. Effectively, McGrath's last season at the helm was a write-off due to circumstances beyond his control.

However, if Waterford have all their players back to full fitness next year, they will be up among the main contenders, as they were in recent seasons.

This is the first time for many years that they were eliminated from the championship in June, a disappointment which hurt them at the time, but which will leave them fresh for action next spring.

It now remains to be seen if Kenny is the man entrusted to lead the Déise for the next few years.

Irish Independent

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