Austin Gleeson and Shane Bennett fit for Waterford

Waterford U21 hurling boss Sean Power reports a clean bill of health for Saturday week’s All-Ireland final.

Centre-back Austin Gleeson (shoulder) and midfielder Shane Bennett (ankle) were substituted during the semi-final win over Antrim, but management last night confirmed the pair had overcome recent knocks and would take full part in the decider against Galway.

Power paid tribute to the determination of his players to build on the All-Ireland minor win of three years ago.

“You see plenty of good minor teams come and go without progressing onto U21. These lads have applied themselves well over the past three years. It just goes to show we are doing something right in Waterford that fellas are progressing,” he said.

“If you look at U21 outside of being a championship where silverware is at stake, it is still a development stage. So, these lads have developed from minor to U21 in the way we hoped they would and that is very satisfying. These guys are driven.”

The county has neither contested nor won an All- Ireland U21 final since 1992 and Power is acutely aware of the collective desire to bridge that 24-year gap.

“We are looking for success in Waterford. Great men have gone before me in management and gone before the lads as players, these lads gave their all for Waterford and didn’t have much to show for it. We will, try and deliver for everybody involved in hurling in Waterford. It is easier said than done, mind.

“We are excited. It is a great opportunity for these fellas to show what they have. Where better to do that than an All-Ireland final.”


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