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John Mullane Explains Why He Never Lost Faith In Waterford After Cork Defeat

John Mullane Explains Why He Never Lost Faith In Waterford After Cork Defeat
By Vincent Whelan

While the All-Ireland final didn't go Waterford's way, it has still been a positive year for 'The Déise' especially when you consider how downbeat the outlook was for them earlier in the season.

They were soundly beaten by Cork in the Munster semi-final where they were favourites, and seemed destined for a thoroughly disappointing year until they caught fire in the qualifiers.

They finally managed to get over the hump against Kilkenny before exacting revenge on Cork in the semi-final.

Waterford legend John Mullane feels the side are extremely close to laying another ghost to rest in the shape of Liam McCarthy and outlined on this week's final episode of 'The Hurling Debate', just how resilient a bunch they are in the face of adversity.

I never stopped believing in the team actually, after the Cork game. I remember going down to Walsh Park the week afterwards. I was never in Walsh Park or Dungarvan, for a training session or an A versus B game.

And I just felt that Saturday evening, the Saturday evening after they got beaten by Cork, and y'know there was an awful lot of scrutiny out there at the time.

They got hammered. And I just felt that I needed to go down there and show the face. And [I] brought the two kids down that night, just a bit of support for the lads to say 'look y'know, I'm fully behind ya.'

And I sat out in the stand that night and it was an A versus B game. And it was actually frightening the level of intensity and the hits that were going in.

And I remember coming out that night and saying to myself, 'it's still going to take a good team to knock this Waterford team out. And I really felt that they could push on and have a really big say in the Championship.

While it's unclear whether or not Derek McGrath will stay on, it's evident that he has built a winning culture at Waterford that have made them seem likely to be legitimate contenders for All-Ireland's for years to come rather than being an entertaining but flaky side that everyone has a soft spot for but limited belief in.

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The full show is available below with Mullane giving his views on other issues like the ever more heightened pressures on player's personal lives and whether or not Waterford need to rejig their attacking strategy.

As well as that, there's more light-hearted explanations of just why his legs were always so red before a match and how his method of psyching himself up in the changing room could often lead to laughter and pain amongst his teammates in equal measure.

The specific clip where he recounts that training session in Dungarvan starts around the 20:40 mark.

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Watch: John Mullane Has A Surprising Choice For Best Hurling Fans In Ireland

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