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15 For 30: Vote Now For Your Best Waterford Team Of The Last 30 Years

15 For 30: Vote Now For Your Best Waterford Team Of The Last 30 Years
By Michael McCarthy

It's time for the second installment of our GAA series here on Balls.ie - 15 for 30.

Each week, we want you to choose a different county's best football and/or hurling team for the last 30 years (from 1990 - 2019). Just pick your favourite team from 1-15 and we'll tally the votes over the course of a week and reveal your county's final XV, as voted by you.

Last week, we kicked things off with the Donegal footballers and had a great response, with the final team being revealed on Saturday.

This week, we turn to hurling for the first time and begin the search for Waterford's 15 for 30.

Waterford have certainly had an interesting 30 years, full of amazing characters, genuine hurling legends, and a huge amount of success.

There was quite a barren spell from Waterford hurling before this period. All-Ireland champions in 1959, they added a Munster title in 1963, and contested another Munster final in 1966. After that; the doldrums.

Three Munster final appearances in the 1980s might have appeared as signs of life, but the three finals ended in defeat by a combined 62 points. Even into the 90s, things remained bleak on the senior front with the team infamously losing in the Munster Championship to Kerry in 1993.

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However, the turnaround has begun the year before at underage level. Munster titles at minor and Under 21 level, and an All-Ireland title in the latter launched a period of promise for Waterford where their underage teams consistently outshone the seniors.

The appointment of Cork legend Gerald McCarthy as senior manager finally heralded a true revival. Having lost a replay to Clare in the 1998 Munster final, Waterford went on to the All-Ireland semi-final that year and have been a genuine hurling contender ever since.

Waterford added four Munster titles to their resume in the 2000s, and have appeared in two All-Ireland finals, 2008 and 2017, though have yet to achieve the Holy Grail of Liam MacCarthy.

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Waterford players have been awarded 35 All-Stars in the last 30 years and many have been among the greatest to play the game in that period. Incredibly, for a team that hasn't won the All-Ireland, three players have received Hurler of the Year awards - Tony Browne in 1998, Dan Shanahan in 2007, and Austin Gleeson in 2016.

It makes for a conundrum for a 15 for 30 conversation.

The great Waterford team of the 2000s achieved the most outright success, but no team has come closer to winning an All-Ireland than Derek McGrath's young team of 2016 and 2017. Two very different styles of hurling definitely caused slight conflict in the county, but how will each group be assessed?

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You can read the rules, such as they are here, but suffice to say, just pick your favourite team from 1-15 and we'll make sure we get the most popular team together by the end of the voting.

You can vote by emailing your team to [email protected], by sending a message to any of our social channels, or by simply filling out your team in the box below.

Let your friends know about it and let the debates begin!

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VOTE HERE:

(Remember to pick your team from 1-15 the way you'd want them to line out. If you don't want John Mullane in goals, don't put him at number 1!)


Voting ends this Saturday the 2nd June and the full team will be revealed that evening.

In case you're in need of some assistance, we've broken down some key achievements by Waterford teams and individuals over the last 30 years.

 

Waterford Silverware Since 1990: 

Munster Senior Hurling Championships x4 - 2002, 2004, 2007, 2010

National Hurling League x2: 2007, 2015

All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championships: 1992, 2016

All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championships: 2013

 

Waterford All-Stars Since 1990: 

5 - John Mullane - 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

 

4 - Michael "Brick" Walsh - 2007, 2009, 2010, 2017

 

3 - Tony Browne -  1998 (HOTY), 2006, 2007

Ken McGrath - 2002, 2004, 2007

Dan Shanahan - 2004, 2006, 2007 (HOTY)

Noel Connors - 2010, 2015, 2017

 

2 - Eoin Kelly - 2002, 2008

Kevin Moran - 2012, 2017

Jamie Barron - 2016, 2017

 

1 - Fergal Hartley - 2002

Paul Flynn - 2004

Eoin Murphy - 2006

Stephen Molumphy - 2007

Tadhg de Burca - 2015 (YHOTY)

Maurice Shanahan - 2015

Austin Gleeson - 2016 (HOTY, YHOTY)

Stephen O'Keeffe - 2017

 

Stay tuned to Balls.ie all this week for analysis of the key matchups, voting updates and a Waterford man will pick his own 15 for 30.

 

SEE ALSO: More Than A Decade On, Ó hAilpín Has Regrets About Cork Strikes

 

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