McGrath likely to replace Cashin

Waterford hurling selector Nicky Cashin has stepped down for “personal reasons”, with Déise legend Ken McGrath widely tipped to join manager Michael Ryan’s backroom team as a replacement.

“Nicky’s stepped down for personal reasons,” said Ryan yesterday.

“He’s a great GAA man and made a huge contribution while he was working with us, and we’re sorry to lose him. He had a lot to offer and on a personal basis we’ve been very good friends for many years, and will continue to be.”

Ryan was tightlipped about Cashin’s replacement – Waterford have a training session scheduled for this evening and “all will revealed” at that session, according to the manager, though many observers expect McGrath to come on board as a selector. Cashin’s departure follows a week of meetings in Waterford – players and management met on Monday and it is understood Ryan himself met with county board officers as well during the week.

“It’s been a difficult league,” Ryan admitted.

“We’ve had players missing, I’m not going to get into that, but we now have John Mullane back, Eoin Kelly back, Aidan Kearney is back and Noel Connors is nearly back. There are past and present All Stars in that group and any team would miss them.

“John was back at training on Tuesday night and so was Eoin. Eoin is in very good condition, we’re very pleased with him after following a personal training programme.

“John is also in good condition. A lot of people thought John had left us but he was training away at the weight sessions with us and on Tuesday he was back, the same old John Mullane, buzzing around with a smile on his face. They’re both on the panel for Sunday.”

Waterford go to Galway on Sunday looking for their first league win after heavy losses to Cork, Kilkenny and Tipperary.

“It’ll be tough for us Sunday, very good Waterford teams have gone up to Galway and haven’t gotten a win. I know people are thinking it’ll come down to Sunday week against Dublin in Dungarvan, but I’m not giving up on Sunday. I’m not downbeat at all about the game.”

Ryan conceded that the last few weeks have been “difficult” on a personal basis.

“It’s been difficult, but I didn’t expect it to be simple. Senior inter-county management is a tough job – getting systems in place, getting everything up and running is not simple.

Getting the best out of people takes time, and we’ve only played three games, remember.

“At the final whistle in the Cork game, our first, we had 11 players unavailable. But what that’s done is given fringe players a chance to shine, and some of them have grabbed that chance with both hands.


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