Sport GAA

Making Waterford play for four weekends straight is 'madness'

Waterford playing for the fourth weekend in a row on Saturday has been described as 'madness'.

Former Deise hurler and two-time All-Star Eoin Kelly, told WLR that player welfare concerns have gone out the window with Waterford and Cork both playing every weekend with the last number of weeks.

"I think Waterford will find it very hard to go to the well again on Saturday. They're talking about player welfare - to make a team go out four weekends in a row is madness. Why could they not give a break to Waterford and Cork? Give a week's break and play the match the following week and everyone would be happy. What's the big rush like? That's my one concern going into Saturday. They're just flogging players. I think if Waterford did have a week's break - they could take Limerick."

Kelly says he has been impressed with the togetherness of the team this season, and reserved special praise for the resurgence of midfielder Jamie Barron. He says the depth of the panel has been a real asset to Liam Cahill and his staff.

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"It's the way that they're playing for each other. Their fight, their hunger. Their aggression. Jamie is after making a huge difference since he came back into the team in the last two games. His energy is something else. Another big thing is the bench. Before the Tipperary match, they were talking on RTE about how the Tipp bench could be the difference, but it was the Waterford bench who got 1-5 and won the game for them."

Stopping Cian Lynch will go a long way to stopping Limerick in Saturday's All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final, says Kelly.

He believes that putting Calum Lyons in a man-marking role could stifle the half-back's attacking creativity. Kelly says Liam Cahill will already have his homework done with his match-ups in mind.

"Liam Cahill will have his match-ups done. He'll have his team work done from last year - knowing who to put on who to curtail Limerick. He's after seeing them in the Munster Final - he's seen how poor they can be in the first half, and how good they can be and how devastating they are in the second half. He'll have all his match-ups lined up. He's a shrewd manager. He's after doing very well for the county. He'll have everything sorted."

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Waterford cannot afford to switch off at any intervals like they did for a few minutes against Galway and Tipperary, or else they'll be punished.

"Hopefully, they can start well. They had a kind-of ten-minute period against Galway and Tipperary where they fell asleep but their lead was good. You can't fall asleep against this crowd. They'll beat you. They're not world beaters though, Limerick. I think Waterford have every chance."

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