Derek McGrath wants to see league format change

Despite winning yesterday in Kilkenny, Waterford manager Derek McGrath is keen on a change to the league format, writes Michael Moynihan.

That’s because so many Fitzgibbon players are involved in the teams: “My stance on the league is very clear, the league, the two sixes, should be changed,” said McGrath.

“It gives those guys the opportunity not to play during the league and just concentrate on colleges and their studies.”

McGrath paid tribute to his youngsters: “I keep saying it, that was Tom Devine’s third only start in the league, people think he has been around forever. That was his third start, he started against Limerick two years ago and against Galway last year. That was Conor Gleeson’s second ever start, the only game he ever started was the home league game against Galway last year, Mikey Kearney was the same, he only ever started against Tipp and Limerick.

“The reality is that four of our forward line are only 20 or 21 years of age, you are constantly looking for a fillip or something to fall back on.

“If you take the 2010 Tipperary U21 team, I think the fruits of that labour are only been seen in 2017 and I would urge patience in that regard. But one thing I couldn’t fault our lads is absolute honesty of endeavour and that is all we are looking for.”

McGrath was already looking forward to next weekend’s clash with Tipp: “We are just interested in getting better, and I keep saying it but we are going to stick with our process with player selection. Even with next Sunday in mind, we are going to give another couple of guys a go and see how they go against Tipp and we’ll expose them. I was in Dublin Saturday and to say Tipperary are on another planet would be an understatement.”

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody was also looking forward to his side’s next outing, against Clare: “It’s an important game, we’re down two points and they’re down two points so it’s a big game on Sunday.”

This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner.

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