Paraic Fanning: Waterford are entitled to expect equal treatment

Waterford hurling manager Paraic Fanning has reiterated his preference for the county’s championship games to be played at home this summer.

Last year Waterford had to play all their Munster Championship games away from home in the round-robin system, losing three and drawing one.

Although Walsh Park in Waterford city is to be redeveloped, those works are not expected to be completed this year, but Fanning has stressed that he and his players are still looking forward to playing championship games at home this summer.

“It’s not my worry to worry about where the games will be played,” said Fanning.

“My own view — we’re all looking forward to home games here, I don’t get involved in those negotiations. My preference would be that the home games are in Waterford.”

Fanning was speaking after Waterford played Clare in the Co-Op Superstores Munster Senior Hurling League last Sunday in Dungarvan, a match attended by more than 3,000 spectators.

“If anything you see with the crowd of people that are here — in either venue — with the crowd of Waterford people that came out in January, that we’re entitled to our home games as much as anybody else.

“As players who are going after trying to win a championship as part of their careers, they’re entitled to an equal chance like anyone else not to have to go away four times.

“I think you see today, we’re capable of holding a crowd in Waterford, it’s not as if we’re that far behind. Whatever the crowd will be, we’ll cope with it and we are looking for the games to be in Waterford.”

Fanning added that his team will be without some experienced names for at least a portion of the upcoming national league: “Tadhg de Búrca is still out, he’ll be out for another little while. Conor Gleeson is out for a good bit of the League, Darragh Fives is still out for another few weeks.

“They’re three really big players for us on top of the Ballygunner lads. They’ll add more strength and I’m quite happy with the way the Munster League has gone. I’m disappointed that we didn’t pull off the game in the end Sunday and more disappointed with the way we started but very happy with the way we finished and I give our lads an awful lot of credit for the way they dug in and they showed what they’re about.”

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