July 26, 2021
News Sport

Axing of Déise stars lights fire under Waterford’s hurling panel: Gleeson

Waterford star Austin Gleeson has admitted that new manager Noel Cahill’s decision to drop captain Noel Connors and Maurice Shanahan has made the rest of the senior hurling panel sit up and train harder.

The Mount Sion man said the new Déise coach’s actions left has left the rest of the senior players under no illusion that they will have to up their game this season.

Waterford haven’t won a Championship game since the 2017 All-Ireland semi-finals. And after seeing two key players cut from the group, Gleeson said he and the rest of the remaining players are ready to work harder than ever.

“When I heard that Noel and Maurice were cut from the panel, it was a signal of intent of what way the lads want to go. It’s after making us train harder, a lot harder,” he added.

“The fear is there that he’s laying down his own marker. It’s just something that maybe we needed, needed big time, to make us hungry again. It’s definitely after happening.”

Gleeson won the Hurler of the Year award in 2016. But three years later, he admits he was naive at the time and didn’t deal with it well.

Waterford did make it to the 2017 All-Ireland final though they lost that game to Galway and seven of their next eight Championship games too.

Gleeson said of his 2016 award: “I was very young getting it, very naive. Even that winter, there were a number of different award ceremonies, I probably would have went to the opening of an envelope just to experience it all.

“If I could go back, I would have cut a lot of them to be honest, I was missing a couple of training sessions because I was going to these kind of award nights and it just kept going from there and I couldn’t get back to where I wanted to be, where I was in 2016. I suppose I still haven’t come close to getting back to that point again.”

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