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Munster Team Enlists Help Of Premier League Club For Hurling Championship

Munster Team Enlists Help Of Premier League Club For Hurling Championship
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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This year's Leinster and Munster Hurling Championships are in some aspects uncharted territory for the teams involved. The traditional straight knockout format has been discarded in favour of a round robin series of matches.

Once it begins, the games will come in a deluge. Four in three weeks for Waterford, Tipperary, Offaly and Wexford; four in four weeks for the rest.

The need to navigate the quick succession of games has led to one Munster team looking to a Premier League club to provide them with the map.

"I know one of the Munster teams have sent their strength and conditioning staff over to a Premiership soccer club to see how they deal with a three-week spell of three or four games," Waterford manager Derek McGrath told Second Captains.

"All their management team have been over there, almost in a rehearsal of what comes of those three or four weeks."

The new format finds the favour of McGrath. Home and away games, he believes, will be an added tribal spice to the championship mix.


Though, like Offaly manager Kevin Martin, McGrath thinks games could have been spread a little further across the calendar.


Waterford have an additional factor to consider: they do not have a home venue. Walsh Park, where they played home games during the league, has been deemed unsuitable due to its restricted capacity. Instead, they will play Tipperary at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick and Cork at Semple.

Their schedule, which sees them play Clare in Ennis and then two games at the Gaelic Grounds, led Deise management to investigate having a Limerick base for those matches.

"We've looked into having a hotel base in Limerick for the three weeks. We should be able create a bit of familiarity there in terms of the Limerick venue and try to flip on its head any negativity associated with it over the years."


Waterford's championship starts a week after their Munster rivals - their bye week comes at the beginning of the barrage. For personal reasons, McGrath doesn't mind too much.

"Selfishly, it's not [a bad thing] because my son's confirmation is the 20th of May.

"That solves another problem, I can tell you - a serious problem."


Picture credit: Sportsfile

See Also: Former Mayo Star Lands 1-8 And Fires St. Vincents To Huge Championship Win



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