Former Tipperary All-Star Liam Cahill was ratified as the new Waterford senior hurling manager on a two-year term, with the option of a third, at last night’s county board meeting in Dungarvan.
A temporary power cut at Lawlors Hotel couldn’t stop his ratification.
The Ballingarry man has steered the Premier County to All-Ireland success at minor, U21 and U20 grades.
He will be assisted by hurling coach Michael Bevans from Toomevara. Two more selectors from Waterford will be added at a later date. Bevans has worked alongside Cahill since 2014 as coach of the Tipp underage sides.
Cahill was the choice of the five-man committee made up of former Waterford hurlers Stephen Frampton and Tom Feeney, founder and chief executive of Nemeton TV Irial Mac Murchú, county secretary Pat Flynn and vice-chairman Seán Michael O’Regan.
He is the first outside manager in the Déise since Davy Fitzgerald who served between 2008 and 2011.
He will face his native county in league and championship next season O’Regan told delegates Cahill is a strong candidate for the position.
“The Waterford hurling team will be in safe hands. Everyone needs to get behind the new set-up.”
Chairman Paddy Joe Ryan praised the work of the committee. “This was done in a discreet manner. The county board handled their business excellently.”
Passage delegate Terry Hayes disagreed. He felt that all candidates should have been informed of the decision at the same time.
“It’s a muddied process as far as I’m concerned. We’re up there to be sniped at. The choreography should have been better. It leaves a lot to be desired.”
O’Regan referred to the media speculation surrounding the appointment.
“There was big pressure from external forces.” Ryan concurred. “They were backed into a corner.”
Former chairman Tom Cunningham hopes the county will rally behind the new manager. “We need the players to react now. Hopefully we will go forward.”
As a player, Cahill claimed an All-Star award in his rookie year of 1996. He scored 1-2 on his championship debut against Waterford at Walsh Park. He won an All-Ireland medal in 2001 under Nicky English.
Tim Lenehan from Shamrocks was appointed as Waterford minor football boss for 2020. Club delegates also voted in favour of the Tier Two All-Ireland football championship ahead of a Special Congress later this month.
Waterford PRO Taylor Murray also highlighted the lack of co-operation from clubs regarding team selections on matchday.
“Because I’m female and a lot younger does not give anyone the right to speak down to me. It has seriously affected me.”
She received a round of applause from delegates.