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Derek McGrath Explains Why One Of Waterford's Brightest Young Stars Is Taking A Break

Derek McGrath Explains Why One Of Waterford's Brightest Young Stars Is Taking A Break
By PJ Browne
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"I met Shane last Monday. He’s just taking a break for the minute but we are hopeful he will be back at some stage," said Derek McGrath on Monday.

The Waterford manager was speaking about one of the Deise's most exciting young players, Shane Bennett. Last month, McGrath disclosed that the 21-year-old is taking an extended break from hurling.

"He started a new electrical apprenticeship, he played a bit of soccer for the winter and things like that.

"So, just a bit of time off and we’re hopeful – we’re not going to leave it go easy in terms of, not persuasion, I think Shane needs hurling and we certainly need him.

The young Ballysaggart forward has played a lot of hurling over the past three years.

It raises a different debate for another day perhaps, but yeah, he’s straight in (from minor) and I said previously that: Kilkenny, Tipp, Galway, they are probably in a different space than us over the years in that they don’t have to promote straight away whereas we felt, particularly on the back of a bad league campaign in 2014 that our best policy was to maybe bring the minors straight in.

We brought Shane and Patrick Curran and a few more of them in. People don’t realise, Shane is a year younger so he was brought in very young.

Even if you go back to the 2015 championship campaign, he played two league games with us (and) went out again to do his Leaving Cert, came back in with us so there is a certain pattern that we are trying to follow that will allow him to be in a good space.


McGrath added that right now his approach to the situation is to leave the player be.

"Yeah, leave him alone a while, you’re conscious of other fellas mucking in for the winter as well.


"The type of approach over the years has allowed us to encourage fellas to do what they want, when they want within a certain time-space where you actually make a decision on it.

"The league could be over March 10, or you could go to March 25 depending on how you’re going and there is probably an eight-week gap then, even a 12-week gap before you play – we’ve a bye in the first round to May 27.

"There’s an opportunity there to change up things in advance of the championship which we would look depending on how things are or how the mood is in the camp.


McGrath added that Tom Devine tore his hamstring while playing for UCC last week. It's an injury which could keep him out of action for a month. Goalkeeper Stephen O'Keeffe also has a hamstring injury and could be out for the first game of the league.

2018 marks the 26th season that Allianz has sponsored the Allianz Hurling Leagues, making it one of the longest sponsorships in Irish sport. Allianz and the GAA today announced the renewal of Allianz's partnership with GAAGO which will make over 50 live Allianz League matches available to global audiences. In attendance at the Allianz Hurling League 2018 launch at Croke Park in Dublin is Waterford manager Derek McGrath. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

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