Former Déise defender Brian Flannery believes that Waterford must make Walsh Park a fortress ahead of the Munster championship.
The Déise will welcome Clare, Kilkenny and Wexford to the city ground in the league before Cork and Tipperary visit for the provincial round robin. Waterford v Clare in round 2 of the National League will be our George Corbett Skoda Big Match on Sunday.
"The league begins for Waterford this Sunday," Flannery told WLR's Lár Na Páirce show. "We say the same about the Munster championship, you've got to win your home games. I think Waterford have the players to win big games. You've got build that confidence going into championship. There's no point expecting that you're going to turn up in April or May in Walsh Park and win big Munster championship games. You need to knock off the Clares when they come to town in the league as well."
After a disappointing 2023, picking up league points is vital for Davy Fitzgerald's side. "I think it's hugely important. Twelve months ago, Waterford had a mediocre league and they carried that indifferent form into the championship. Davy has spoken about wanting to engage with the Waterford supporters, wanting to get the Waterford crowd onside, wanting to give them something to shout about. This is a big opportunity. I'm expecting a huge turnout in Walsh Park on Sunday. Everybody is just hoping to have something to latch onto, some positivity. A win would be huge for Waterford."
Flannery expects both Patrick and Padraig Fitzgerald to feature this weekend. They scored 1-10 between them from play for SETU Waterford in the Fitzgibbon Cup quarter finals on Wednesday night as Fintan O'Connor's side defeated SETU Carlow. "They were absolutely outstanding. Padraig has been a real bright spark in the Munster League as well. He has a lot to look forward to. Genuine score getters, you can't have enough of them in your side."
Join Kieran O'Connor and Fergal Hartley for live coverage of the George Corbett Skoda Big Match from 1.30 on WLR.
Listen back to the full interview with Brian Flannery from Friday's Lár Na Páirce show.