Wednesday 26 June 2019

Mullane to treasure memories despite loss

John Mullane is dispossessed with the deftest of touches from Michael Kavanagh as Kilkenny smother the Waterford attack in yesterday’s one-sided All-Ireland SHC final at Croke Park.
John Mullane is dispossessed with the deftest of touches from Michael Kavanagh as Kilkenny smother the Waterford attack in yesterday’s one-sided All-Ireland SHC final at Croke Park.

Colm Keys

John Mullane revealed yesterday that he wouldn't change the last few months "for anything", despite Sunday's All-Ireland hurling final annihilation at the hands of Kilkenny.

Mullane says the severity of the defeat will not diminish the memory of reaching his first ever All-Ireland hurling final.

And he also backed Davy Fitzgerald to remain on as manager despite the criticism he may now face in the county.

"The last seven or eight years I have won Munster titles and a National League but I tell you I wouldn't swap the last few months. I think the last few months topped it for me, getting to an All-Ireland final," he said.

"I mean, I'll never forget coming out on that field until the day I die. It was some feeling and I'll take it to my grave. I wouldn't swap the last few months for anything.

Joy

"It's a credit to Davy as well, he can hold his head up high. It was a pleasure to work with him, the whole professionalism he brought to it and it was just a joy to be part of it."

Mullane has urged the County Board not to look beyond him in the weeks ahead.

"If he's approached to stay on I think he would be the right man to freshen things up," he said.

"As he said himself, Clare came back from an awful hammering in a Munster final against Tipperary in 1993. He remembers the bad days in Clare too and he had them but they bounced back too so I think he'd be the right man to get us back from this situation we are in."

Mullane wasn't aware of any retirements, though the speculation is that Paul Flynn, Tom Feeney and Dave Bennett will walk away, while Tony Browne may also go.

"I haven't spoken to any of them but I think they should be given the respect to sit back and have a think about it over the next few months," said Mullane.

And Waterford's best player in their first All-Ireland final appearance for 45 years has also urged supporters to be positive.

"People forget that we had some good days. We beat a Tipperary team that was unbeaten all year," he said.

"We can take a lot of positives from this year. I think Sunday was a freak show. We just happened to be on the wrong end of it.

"It is a pity because I don't think this Waterford team deserved what happened on Sunday."

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