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Waterford Hurling Great Hits Back At Suggestions He Needs To 'Step Up'

14 June 2009; Ken McGrath, Waterford, in action against Damien Reale, Limerick. GAA Hurling Munster Senior Championship Semi-Final, Limerick v Waterford, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Waterford great Ken McGrath has hit back at suggestions that he and other former Deise players should step up to the mark and contribute if they believe the county's senior hurling team is in such dire straits.

Following Waterford's heavy defeat to Clare in Saturday evening's Munster Hurling Championship clash, McGrath was highly critical of the side managed by Davy Fitzgerald.

"I saw one or two things about 'The 90s - 2000s Waterford players need to step up'," McGrath told WLR FM's Deise Today.

"I went to step up two years ago with Andy Moloney and Dan Shanahan for the Waterford U20 job.


"I have two older kids and two younger kids, and the younger lads are getting to an age where I feel I can give something back to the county without talking out the side of my mouth about this player and that player.

"We were deemed by the county board to not be good enough. A lot of people can say stuff, 'These lads aren't putting [the effort in]'. We wanted to try and put the effort in. I wanted to get back in with Waterford but we were deemed not good enough. At times, there's a bigger picture of what's going on.

"Of course it would [hurt you]. You're putting your neck on the line and saying you want to give something back. I gave 17 years playing, and I was a selector for one year in 2012. I gave the early part of my life to Waterford.


"I was working with Andy and Dan, good friends of mine. Andy won an All-Ireland club with Ballyhale. Dan did great with Derek McGrath as a selector."

29 July 2012; Waterford selector Ken McGrath, right, and manager Michael Ryan during the game. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final, Cork v Waterford, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE


Asked if he would be interested in a role with a county team now, McGrath said he is busy working with his club Mount Sion's minor side, and that it's "a project for the next couple of years".

McGrath added that he stands over the comments he made on Twitter at the weekend.

"I suppose I grew up in the ‘80s when you had 3 or 4,000 going to championship matches for the one day out of the year and it was over," he said.


"Unfortunately it’s getting back to those times and we have to be very careful. Look, I said a few things after the game on Saturday. You are watching this and seeing it unfold and we need answers, we need answers around what is going on.

"I was only thinking about what I said on Saturday and would I stand over what I said on Saturday, and 100 per cent I would.

"Over the last three or four games, our hurling has been very, very poor. The mistakes we are making, the first touch, the fumbling, even the options we are going. That’s all coaching, Damien.

"You are looking at a team where, last year we were the second best team in the country. And this year we are at Joe McDonagh standard. And that’s the reality of it.

"You can gloss over it whatever way you want and people would say you are being harsh. But when you are county player, you have to deal with criticism."

McGrath called Davy Fitzgerald's tactics "baffling". Asked if he believes there should be a change in management for next season, McGrath responded: "If that was a Waterford man standing on the life, would he last a year? He didn't last four years ago when there was a Waterford man (Páraic Fanning) standing there, and the round robin didn't work out. Would [a Waterford man] last this year? In my opinion, he wouldn't."

See Also: Jackie Tyrrell Hammers Waterford Players After Heavy Defeat To Clare

jackie tyrrell waterford clare munster hurling championship 2023



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