Waterford happy in ‘home of hurling’, says Dan Shanahan

Waterford selector Dan Shanahan has reiterated Waterford’s satisfaction with Thurles as a Munster hurling final venue, describing Semple Stadium as "the home of hurling".

Waterford happy in ‘home of hurling’, says Dan Shanahan

Speaking last night, Shanahan said: “Derek [McGrath] went to the county board and said: ‘We want Thurles, see what you can do.’ It happened and to be playing Tipp in Thurles is going to be extremely tough. They train there every night, but it’s where you want to play.

“I suppose we had a routine, going to the same place that we were used to in the two previous games, and if it popped up that we could play it there, then we would play it there.

“We were delighted that the county boards came to an agreement to play the game in Thurles, because Thurles is easier for the supporters to get to, plus it’s nice for us, because we had our own set up in the Horse and Jockey and the same routine and in the same room that day, so it’s great for us to get to have the game in Thurles.

“Plus, Thurles is the home of hurling, it’s where you want to play.”

Shanahan added: No disrespect to the Gaelic Grounds, it’s a lovely pitch and set up up there but, for supporters, I think it [Thurles] is a lot easier to get in and out of.”

The 2007 Hurler of the Year pointed out that most of the Waterford players are familiar with the Tipperary venue from their underage careers in white and blue.

“Also, we got the two victories in the league final, the two wins over Cork, both games. If we had to go to Limerick we would have went to Limerick, no problem.

“The county board came to the agreement with the Tipp county board so we’re in Thurles and we’re looking forward to it.”

Shanahan added that a big Déise support is expected in Thurles on July 12: “It’s a Munster final in Thurles, I reckon there’ll be 35,000, 40,000 people there, which is going to exceed what’s been there in previous years.

“There’ll be a big Tipp crowd there, with it being in Thurles, but there’ll be a big Waterford crowd there too that’ll go along as well.”

The Waterford man said that despite its attractions, Killarney was never an option.

“A lot of people say to me it’s a great weekend away to go to Killarney, but it’d be hard to come out of it if we won. But no, Thurles is where you want to play.”

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