New York aside, no county has endured such miserable form on the provincial front this decade as the Waterford footballers.
Tom McGlinchey’s charges are in Semple Stadium on Saturday for a Munster quarter-final against Tipperary.
They’ll be hoping it is 10th time lucky as the county’s last nine provincial championship games have failed to produce a win.
May, 2010 was the last occasion the county managed a victory on the provincial front, Gary Hurney’s goal helping the Déise to a 1-10 to 0-9 quarter-final win over Clare at Fraher Field.
Indeed, the county has enjoyed only one championship win since that four-point triumph — London were overcome in a second-round qualifier in 2011.
In the past eight years, Waterford have played 19 championship games. All bar three ended in defeat. Despite this run, however, manager Tom McGlinchey says club players are more than willing to get involved in the Waterford setup.
Having come within a point of upsetting Cork in last year’s Munster quarter-final, McGlinchey’s hope was they would build on that narrow defeat. It hasn’t worked out as such. “They say a week is a long time in politics. Well, six months is a long time in football because from the Cork game, six of the first team aren’t available now, including captain Paul Whyte.
“We just want to win a game, it doesn’t matter who it is. Obviously, if it is Tipperary it would be a scalp, but it is all about winning a game. The good thing about last year is we got a performance against Cork, people spoke about it for a couple of days afterwards, which was great for the players. That is what we are hoping for this year; to put up a good performance against Tipperary and see how the year pans out after that.”
McGlinchey added: “You have to start helping yourself and in fairness to the County Board, that is what they have done in restructuring the club championship to make sure it finishes on time this year. Tipperary set out their stall 10 years ago with underage development squads. They really put a lot of work into minors and U21s. They should be a Division 1 team now.
“They could be a dark horse to get to the Super 8s this year.”
By Eoghan Cormican
Sports Reporter – Irish Examiner