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'I Wasn't Forceful Enough' - Derek McGrath Has Regrets Over Walsh Park Stance

'I Wasn't Forceful Enough' - Derek McGrath Has Regrets Over Walsh Park Stance
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Former Waterford manager Derek McGrath hailed as good news that his county will be allowed host Munster Championship games at Walsh Park for the first time since 2003.

In last year's inaugural Munster Hurling Championship round robin format, Waterford played home games outside of the county in Limerick's Gaelic Grounds and Semple Stadium in Thurles.

Speaking on RTÉ's League Sunday, McGrath said that the draw with Tipperary and defeat to Cork were not only about Waterford not playing those games at home.

"There were a litany of injuries, ill-luck, refereeing decisions and just not being good enough on given days," said McGrath.


However, he does still regret not pushing harder for Walsh Park to be the venue for those games.

The 'Newbridge or Nowhere' stance was an epiphany moment for all of us, myself included. On a personal level, I wasn't forceful enough. When you see Cian O'Neill [Kildare manager] coming out in the forceful nature that he did, you look at yourself first and foremost and say 'Could you have done more?'

There's lessons to be learned for all of us. We've wallowed in a state of perpetual mediocrity for the last 30 years in terms of grounds. It's an embarrassment. It's good now that there's a unity of purpose.

In this year's Munster Championship, Waterford will play home games against Clare on May 12th and Limerick on June 2nd. Construction on the expansion of the stadium to 16,500 capacity venue will begin at some point following those games with the hope that it is finished in time for the 2020 Championship.

"Outside of the social and economic benefits, it's the advantage of training in your own ground for eight or nine weeks in preparation for a match, in terms of simulation and what you want to do," said McGrath.

"You can't countenance the value of that. One match was lost in the Munster championship last year for a home team - Tipperary lost. And if Jake Morris had stuck that ball at 67 minutes, we could be arguing that no match was lost on a home ground."



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