Sport

"We train as hard as any other inter county team" Ephie Fitzgerald on Waterford football

Ephie Fitzgerald hopes to see more players put their hand up for the Waterford football squad in the coming years.

"My aim is that we'll get fellas playing football who are interested in playing football. Not playing football because they don't get on the hurling panel. Just fellas that are committed and willing and make that lifestyle choice. We train as hard as any other inter county team in the country. It's just making that choice that wearing the Waterford football jersey is something they want to do. We need to unearth some more talent and make our panel stronger. For the Tipperary match, with injuries and whatnot, I think we only had one forward available to us to come on which isn't satisfactory."

Waterford travel to Aughrim to take on Wicklow in the Tailteann Cup this afternoon. "I'm very proud of what they've done all year. The results mightn't look great but at the end of the day, they've given it everything. They've trained very hard. We've picked up a lot of injuries because guys aren't used to the intensity of the training. What I'm hoping to see is that they'll free themselves up and play the football that I know they're capable of. We have some excellent players. Regardless of the result on Saturday, I'm very proud of the effort they've put in. For me, it's the beginning of a process."

Fitzgerald feels that they have put in building blocks for the future during his first year in charge. "For us, we're not going to win an All Ireland, we're probably not going to win a Munster championship if you're being realistic during my time but we can build a base, we can build a foundation. We certainly want to be competitive in the league and in the Tailteann Cup to give us a platform. News gets around then 'that's a good set-up, fellas are doing well, it's enjoyable' and you get other players in then. Looking at the minors and Under 20s as well and making sure that what they're doing is relevant to what may happen if a player becomes a senior player. There's no cohesion at the moment in terms of coaching between the minor, the 20s and the senior. That's something we'll be looking at over the summer. I'm proud of the lads no matter what happens on Saturday."

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