Sunday 17 December 2017

Deise must face harsh realities

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

SO then, it's eight defeats from nine All-Ireland semi-finals for Waterford hurlers since 1998.

It's hugely disappointing and inevitably leads to focus on the managers involved. And since the last three semi-final defeats have been on Davy Fitzgerald's watch, he can expect his share of criticism.

That's modern-day management, but any objective analysis of his stint would deem it a success as it included a Munster title, one All-Ireland final and four semi-final appearances.

Waterford failed to make the All-Ireland breakthrough, but since they lost semi-finals and finals to Kilkenny (three times) and Tipperary (once), it points to one reality. Up to now -- and maybe still -- Waterford have been third best in the country at a time when Kilkenny and Tipperary have exceptional outfits.

I have heard it said since Waterford's latest defeat that, while Fitzgerald is a good manager, he doesn't have what the really successful bosses have.

Indeed. It's called top quality. Waterford are very good, but are not as powerful as Kilkenny and Tipperary at present. No manager can change that.

Irish Independent

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