Déise hindered by cup withdrawal

Waterford’s withdrawal from this month’s McGrath Cup hasn’t aided league preparations, admits manager Niall Carew.

The Déise overcame Limerick in a challenge on Sunday morning and Carew understands the importance of fitting in as many games as possible to compensate for their absence from the Munster competition.

“It is not ideal because when you have games that are organised and competitive, it is grand. You can try out new players and what not,” noted Carew.

“In saying that, it was important to stand behind the players. They are the ones who physically put their bodies on the line week in, week out. It was a mark of respect for them more than anything.”

Waterford edged out Limerick 1-14 to 2-7 at Martinstown and Carew was impressed by the contribution of new addition Wayne Hutchinson, the Ballygunner man opting to switch codes for the 2014 season.

“It was a very competitive game and that is all we were looking for. We were happy to blood a couple of new lads. The win didn’t really matter, we just wanted a competitive game. We played four 20-minute periods and everyone got a good run out. Wayne Hutchinson and Kieran Connery are back in with the squad this year and both featured prominently.

“Odhran Keevers from De La Salle played very well also. It is good to have a city player back in the squad. Paul Whyte played very well for UL against UCC and that was good to hear, he will be one of our big players this year in the absence of Gary Hurney.

“We are playing Kildare next Tuesday night, WIT the weekend following and we are pleased enough with that. These challenges are different. Limerick are in a higher league to us this year so we won’t be playing them unless we meet in the summer, so it was good to test ourselves against them. Kildare, obviously, are a Division 1 side and it is great to get a game against them because normally you wouldn’t get a chance in the league.”

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