Wednesday 22 January 2020

Mullane urges Deise to rise above unrest

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

JOHN MULLANE has told Waterford's hurlers they must not be distracted by off-field rumblings as they try to preserve their Division 1A status tomorrow and prepare for the championship.

The iconic forward returned to the Deise set-up last week -- amid changes in the backroom set-up and reported discontent among players over the allocation of gear -- and helped them to their first win of the league campaign, against Galway.

Mullane stresses that the season is still in its infancy and he says the players must remain focused in their pursuit of the top teams.

"It's been a difficult time but we are still only in March," he said at the launch of Centra's 'Brighten Up Your Day' at Croke Park yesterday.

"You can't take your eye of the ball. If standards drop, teams aren't going to compete at the higher level required. If we continue to play at a high level and compete against the more traditional counties, who have probably a bigger financial backing and bigger resources behind them, then we will have to maintain that standard.

"With the county board it's understandable, they are going through a recession and they are tightening their belt.

"The county board has to be run like a business now and in trying to work harder to get more money in if you are to continue to compete at the level it requires.

"We need the full backing of the county board. The board have to have three or four fundraisers every year to bring in more money and I think the players would be open to helping out with that."

Mullane welcomed the appointment of Ken McGrath and Sean Cullinane as selectors, but he paid tribute to the departing Br Philip Ryan, who acknowledged that his training methods were not what the team needed at this stage.

"The lads have great respect for him for being so open with the players, and Br Ryan is a very proud man and he is after gaining a lot of respect by doing it," he said.

"It's great to have Ken and Sean involved. They are respected among the squad, but they are respected by the public too, which is important."

Waterford take on Dublin tomorrow and a win could keep them out of relegation trouble, but Mullane's eyes are on the summer and warned commentators not to read too much into league form.

"They get a bit carried away," he said.

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: The Saracens scandal, Leinster's nightmare draw and Andy Farrell's tough calls

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport