Tuesday 16 October 2018

Waterford need to go for the jugular - Prendergast

Former Waterford star Seamus Prendergast. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Former Waterford star Seamus Prendergast. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Former Waterford hurler Seamus Prendergast believes the county will have to play a more expansive game if they are to go all the way and win the All-Ireland in 2018.

Opinion is divided in Waterford about whether deploying an extra defender is the best way for the county to play, with Prendergast in favour of a more adventurous style.

"I think they need to probably push up," he said.

"I know they got a lot of goals against Cork and that and they got two goals against Kilkenny but I think they need to push up for longer periods of the game to really threaten a lot of the teams that are winning All-Irelands, you know, keep three lads in the full-forwards for the majority of the time.

"I think they'll have to change a little. The system they have, look, it got them to the All-Ireland final so you can't knock it too much. If they can tweak it a little and push up a little further up the field, keep at least two, maybe three, inside in the full-forward line as often as they can, I think that would benefit their cause.

"The older generation have seen Waterford playing that kind of open off-the-cuff hurling for 50 years. It's a big change for them and those people always want that style of hurling. They call it the Waterford style I suppose. It could have been 60-40 (against) up until the All-Ireland, it might be 60-40 the other way now, that they'd prefer the way they got to the All-Ireland.

blood "But if we won an All-Ireland everybody would be (saying they love it). It's a love or hate thing."

Prendergast will be in action for Ardmore against Brendan Cummins' Ballybacon-Grange in the AIB Munster club JHC final in Mallow tomorrow and he wants to see Waterford introduce some new blood next year.

"They probably need to unearth one or two new players to freshen it up a bit. Hopefully they might get those, they might come from the panel or they might bring in a few new lads. I presume they're looking at lads that they've been trying out in the club. I think they'll need a couple of lads to freshen it up a bit.

"They have a panel of 34 or 35 and they've been giving fellas games but I think they'll need to maybe give them more league time to see what they're really made of. There's no point waiting until the championship.

"Tom Devine is coming back as well and he could be an addition to them, if he gets enough game and gets his hurling sharp enough.

"Patrick Curran is another lad that has been there or thereabouts and has been on the minor and U-21 All-Ireland teams so he has a bit of experience. He's a class hurler; there's a few fellas like them who might help to bring it on to the next level."

Irish Independent

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