Waterford chairman denies squad unrest over training plan
Waterford chairman Tom Cunningham has refuted claims of unrest among the county hurling squad over the decision to hold no formal squad training sessions until early May – less than three weeks before they play Cork in the Munster quarter-final in Thurles on May 25.
Club championship games have been scheduled for the next few weekends, with players expected to give their full attention to the local programme before returning to county training after the May Bank Holiday weekend.
"This has what the clubs wanted. We have hurling and football championship games coming up over the next few weeks and we have to give players the best chance to prepare for them. We have to be fair to the clubs," said Cunningham (above).
The Waterford squad undertook a self-funded warm-weather training camp to Portugal recently and it's understood they were keen to continue training as a group for this week at least, prior to the club championship games.
However, they were informed that there would be no more formal squad county sessions until the first week in May. Asked if team boss, Derek McGrath, who is in his first season at the helm, was happy with the arrangement, Cunningham said he had signed up to the manager's charter.
"We want to give the clubs a chance to have their players over the next few weeks for important games. They will be back with the county after that, getting ready for the Cork game. Some counties play club championship games a lot closer to county games than that," he said.
Waterford took a heavy blow to morale when losing a Division 1A relegation play-off against Dublin last month and news that the squad won't be working together until a few weeks before the big test with Cork will do nothing to raise spirits among supporters.
It's the latest development in what are trying times for Waterford, whose current debts stand at almost €500,000.