Waterford manager Seán Power believes this group of players has the potential to deliver All-Ireland senior success to the county.
Eight of the team which featured against Galway on Saturday evening have already played league or championship at senior level and Power reckons this group will form the foundation of any future senior success.
“If you call U21 the top of the development pile, then the next step is the Munster senior championship and All-Ireland senior championship. That’s where you go from here. That is what we are aiming for next. The potential is there,” Power asserted.
“The foundation of that success is with these guys. It is mesmerising the talent we have at our disposal at this grade. This group has won a minor, won an U21 now. There’s 12 of them on the senior panel.
“They won a National League last year; beaten in a National League this year. Narrowly beaten by Kilkenny with quite a few of them playing, so yes, this is the foundation for that progression.
“I hope they can fulfil their potential in the not too distant future.”
The winning manager pointed to the early ransacking of the Galway defence as crucial in delivering a first All-Ireland U21 title in 24-years — the favourites led 3-5 to 0-4 by the end of the first quarter. “You’d be hopeful that you’d get such a start, but you seldom do.
“When you are pressing hard, marking hard, not allowing defenders come out with ball easily and you have the sort of forwards we have, then it is possible.
“We have scoring forwards who are deadly when they get good ball. The manner in which we executed the victory was just mesmerising. We set out our stall earlier this year that we were going to play an expansive game.
“Our approach is that if you go all out for it, sometimes it will go in your favour.
There has been fairly decent scores against us, which is something that might hamper you at the next level more so than it did at this level.
“It is all about trusting in the guys, in their ability, and what they can do. Letting them have a go was our philosophy. This is a special result.”
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