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'This team will be forever ingrained in my heart': Derek McGrath steps down as Déise hurling boss

‘After five thoroughly enjoyable years working with the most committed, dedicated, honest and genuine players to represent our county’.

Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

DEREK MCGRATH HAS submitted his resignation to Waterford county board after five years as the county’s hurling boss.

An injury-plagued Waterford side suffered an early Championship exit after defeat to Cork in Thurles yesterday, but McGrath departs with enormous goodwill after the Déise reached the All-Ireland SHC final under his stewardship last year.

“The relinquishing of my position comes after five thoroughly enjoyable years working with the most committed, dedicated, honest and genuine players to represent our county,” McGrath said in an eloquent parting statement released this evening.

“I thank them from the bottom of my heart for sharing the experiences, for the encouragement they gave and the steadfast belief they had in me. No greater love could be shown.”

McGrath, who won a Division 1 league title in 2015, had special words of thanks for his family and backroom team, the county board and inparticular the supporters and players.

Waterford is a special county with special people. People defined by their resilience, their authenticity and their creativity. I thank the Waterford people for recognising these traits within this team and uniting behind them over the last five years.

To the players, McGrath signed off with the mantra which took hold under this watch after hailing their diligence and commitment to the county’s cause.

“Witnessing your growth and watching you represent Waterford on and off the field with the unity of a tight-knit family filled us all with immense pride.

Derek McGrath and Dan Shanahan dejected after the game Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“Whilst we committed ourselves to be the best we could be as a management, we also challenged you to be the most diligent team ever to represent Waterford and you responded by giving everything you had every day, which became our team motto – GACH RUD. GACH LÁ.

“This team will be forever ingrained in my heart. Returning to family and school life, I hope to learn from the values and principles that you stand for. I look forward to applying these learnings into the future in differing capacities.”

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Sean Farrell

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