TJ Reid: ‘I’m not sure if you’re going to see 2-28 or 2-30 scored’

Paul Keane discusses the upcoming All-Ireland Final between Galway and Waterford with TJ Reid.

TJ Reid: ‘I’m not sure if you’re going to see 2-28 or 2-30 scored’

Are there any Galway weaknesses Derek McGrath can target?

It’s hard to know, possibly Galway’s defence. I certainly don’t think Waterford will be launching high balls down on top of Daithi Burke or Gearoid McInerney, they’re too big and strong for that. Waterford will try to play a sharp running game, to drag the defenders out, bring them into open play, all the things that Waterford do so well. I think you’ll see Waterford pinging balls going down the line, that sort of stuff. A lot of it will be aimed towards creating overlaps and freeing up space for Jamie Barron and Kevin Moran to come bombing into.

Will Waterford stick with the sweeper?

Definitely, yeah. They’ll have a plan B, of course, but the sweeper has worked so well for them. If they’re winning the game by three or four it will help them to lock the whole thing down and to see it out. But if they’re losing by three or four, and the game is getting on, then the plan B will have to kick in.

They’ll have to bring lads forward and commit to attack but I’m sure Derek McGrath and his management team will have a definite plan for that scenario. Having Tadhg de Búrca available obviously helps them too.

Q. Who will be more influential, Joe Canning or Austin Gleeson?

I think both of those players are going to be man-marked. If Joe is given any bit of space or latitude he’ll pick out 40- and 50-yard passes no problem. I would imagine that Waterford will put Philip Mahony on Canning and he’ll stick to him closely. I’m not sure what Galway will do with Gleeson but it’ll be a similar man-marking job. The goal that Gleeson scored against Cork was brilliant and showed what he’s capable of if he gets a yard or two. I think Galway will try to hit him hard and early. He has a tendency to strike out so they’ll probably get in his face and make life tough enough.

Q. How big a scoring tally will it take to win the game?

I’m not sure if you’re going to see 2-28 or 2-30 scored by either team.

Galway have been in finals before but they’re still looking for that breakthrough and the whole thing will be new to Waterford. So there could be 15 or 20 minutes of two teams just sizing each other up and getting used to the occasion. That might suit Waterford more.

They played it that way against Cork and then went for the jugular in the last quarter of the game.

Both teams have shown they’re capable of finishing games off so it’s going to be fascinating in those final few minutes.

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