Liam Cahill: Axing maor foirne 'a disaster' when you're on the backfoot

Liam Cahill: Axing maor foirne 'a disaster' when you're on the backfoot

Waterford manager Liam Cahill celebrates at the final whistle. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Waterford hurling manager Liam Cahill said the disbanding of the maor foirne role has been “a disaster”.

When asked how difficult it was, as manager, to affect today's second-round qualifier contest when Galway took over in the final quarter, Cahill said it was “really difficult” to communicate messages and changes to players as no member of management is allowed inside the whitewash.

“The rule of taking away the maor foirne is a disaster, it really is. I can understand a lot of why it was looked at initially because of the activity in and around the field, a nightmare for referees. But not every maor foirne abused it,” said Cahill following his team’s 1-30 to 3-20 win over Galway.

“Our maor foirne, Mikey Bevans, it is not about him running out onto the field to be seen, he's not into that business. It is about supporting the players, making switches.

“There were 4,500 people here today, the players couldn't hear us on the sideline. Imagine if there were 40,000 people here today, it is definitely a hindrance when it comes to reorganising your team. And it is a pity because of the amount of work these players put in, but they do need support from the sideline and help, no matter how experienced you might think they are.

“We are on the line, we can see what is required, and getting to a player could be the difference between progressing in the championship and not.

“For this Waterford team, it is educating them to think for themselves on the field and that is important.” Cahill was unbelievably proud of the manner in which his 14-man charges responded to having their 16-point lead cut to three as the clock spilled into second-half stoppages.

“The players showed great character. A team of lesser quality and heart could easily have gone under. And they showed it again last week at Nowlan Park against Laois, great heart and determination and that is what I am seeing in these players every night in training since I arrived in Waterford and that is why they were so irate at exiting the Munster Championship because they didn’t give a true reflection of themselves and their identity.

“For me, I was probably a bit naïve and inexperienced to look for answers in the immediate aftermath of the (Clare) match. I was able to tell the players that and made that mistake and they showed me today that they are behind me 100%.”

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