Podcast posers: ‘I don’t think a fella should be embarrassed to go into his workplace on a Monday morning’

This week on Dalo’s Hurling Podcast, Derek McGrath and Ger Cunningham talked Waterford’s psyche, Tipp’s flexibility, Limerick’s big calls, and Galway’s need for a performance.

Podcast posers: ‘I don’t think a fella should be embarrassed to go into his workplace on a Monday morning’

This week on Dalo’s Hurling Podcast, Derek McGrath and Ger Cunningham talked Waterford’s psyche, Tipp’s flexibility, Limerick’s big calls, and Galway’s need for a performance.

Is criticism of players becoming too personal and harsh?

Derek McGrath: “Despite the abject performances at the weekend, I don’t think a fella should be embarrassed to go into his workplace on a Monday morning, as was alluded to. I don’t get that whole thing. Maybe it sounds a bit player-focused, and I’m only out of the job, but I still say that fellas went out with the best intentions. And things go awry for certain reasons.

“I accept all the scrutiny that goes with it, but I’d also argue with anyone that a fella is living it. It’s something to bear in mind. These fellas are giving it everything they have, The Clare fellas are just as dejected as the Waterford lads this week. It’s something I feel strongly about.”

How good are Tipp?

Ger Cunningham: “They’ve been hugely impressive. What I was looking for in the Clare match was that there would be questions asked. In the first two games, there was no questions asked, they were ahead early on and they pulled away and they were left play hurling. I was hoping Clare would play with the wind, get ahead of them and put it up to them, it would be good to see how Tipp would respond.

“But we praised their forward line for their flexibility and the movement of their forward line, but their back line has been seriously impressive. Especially the half-back line. On Sunday they made a great call, put Brendan Maher on Tony Kelly, and he followed him everywhere. The Mahers swapped position. And six backs who played against Cork played in different positions against Clare. That’s huge flexibility to be able to move around like that.

Derek McGrath: “Tipperary have really really good players. The start of the year, Seamie Callanan was brought out to the media to say ‘were not in the top six, we’ll have a lot of work to do to get into the top six’.

“But the reality is Liam Sheedy has his eyes on only one prize (the All-Ireland), that’s the reality.”

Does John Kiely stick or twist again?

Ger Cunningham: “I think he was brave against Waterford. They had a fortnight to get it right. They probably had an A v B game to get it right. In the Cork game, Daniel Kearney scored four points off Diarmaid Byrnes. Cork’s midfield were very strong. Darragh O’Donovan wasn’t in the game. But still, he made two very brave calls.

“They got their mojo back. Sean O'Donnell doing the video analysis, the work guys like him do is absolutely huge. On the puckouts, they forced Waterford to go long. In my head, he deserves a lot of credit for the way they set up on Sunday.

“But it’s all on the line for them now against Clare. If they lose, potentially they are out. Again he’s got to make the brave calls. Does he stick with Paddy O’Loughlin, does he stick with Will O’Donoghue. Or does he bring Byrnes back, and O’Donovan back?”

What happened to the Walsh Park factor?

Derek McGrath: “We were all saying it would be a game-changer. The whole emotive build-up, you hoped the team would respond to the local crowd, the whole fortress element. And the last 20 minutes of the Clare game we went at it.

“And in the first 15 minutes against Limerick, it looked like Waterford had brought their A game but when Aaron Gillane got the goal, they seemed to collapse. We were short of confidence and completely out of ideas, and it permeated throughout the group and it was a case of wanting to get off the field as fast as possible.

“1959 is the last time we’ve got proper silver. Is it in the psyche of the players, the psyche of the crowd. There was 10,000 at Walsh Park for an 11,500 capacity. There seemed to be a disconnect, a lack of feeling to the whole occasion. And it was there against Clare as well. A general malaise.”

Where are Galway?

Anthony Daly: I got no sense of confidence in Galway in Salthill. I thought Wexford should have won that game.

Ger Cunningham: I think they are looking for a performance in Galway. All of a sudden you hear the positive vibes out of Kilkenny. You’ve got Cillian Buckley back, James Maher back, you’ve got Joey Holden back. That makes them really really strong.

“I think Galway have it all to do to go to Nowlan Park and beat Kilkenny. if they get a performance, they have the game against Dublin to fall back on and potentially they will have Joe Canning back for that. Their season will be on the line.”

Derek McGrath: “I’ve a feeling there’s a big performance coming from Galway. Then everything could take off. Canning comes back on the scene. Adrian Touhey possibly. Joseph Cooney gets up to speed. Johnny Glynn maybe starts. Galway are being written out but one performance could act as a catalyst for them being the contenders we all thought they’d be.”

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