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'It’s still raw, hugely disappointing' - Coping with Waterford's All-Ireland setback

Captain Kevin Moran on the loss to Galway and the future of his manager.

YESTERDAY WAS KEVIN Moran’s first time returning to Croke Park since the crushing disappointment of 16 days before.

Thoughts of the All-Ireland final loss came back to the Waterford captain at the launch of the PWC All-Stars awards.

Cathal Mannion with Kevin Moran Kevin Moran in action for Waterford against Galway. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“I didn’t come up to the football final, a few things went through my head alright but I’d love to get back here next year,” reflected the Waterford captain.

“It’s still raw, hugely disappointing. There was a great atmosphere in the county throughout the summer and leading up to the final but at the end of the day we probably just weren’t good enough on the day.

“Galway were more economical on the day. We’re back with the clubs now, which is a small bit of solace. It’s good to get back and play a couple of games and focus on something else.”

Moran believes there’s nothing to be gained from honing in on specific moments from the game.

“I had a fairly simple wide myself in the second half but if you go down that route you would drive yourself demented. You just have to put it to one side for the time being and maybe come back and analyse it, if ever, to be honest.

PwC GAA / GPA All-Stars 2017 nominations announcement Kevin Moran at the launch of the PWC-Allstars in Croke Park. Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

“You have to get back to the club and enjoy it. Take a bit of time off. Recharge the batteries and start again.

“It is disappointing but there are lots of fond memories out there as well. It’s ultimately about trying to bridge a huge gap and win the Liam MacCarthy. We just fell a small bit short this year.”

There is a different sense after this game to Moran’s previous All-Ireland final experience with Waterford in 2008 when they suffered a hiding against Kilkenny.

Richie Power and Kevin Moran Kevin Moran in action in 2008 against Kilkenny's Richie Power. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“It’s completely different. 2008 was embarrassing to be straight up. Your head was down. It was the worst six weeks ever to be honest with you.

“This time around, even though the result is the same, I think there’s a lot more pride I suppose associated with the team.

“There’s a good (feeling), you know, that the county and everyone has rowed in behind the team and Derek which can only be a positive thing going forward for the next few years.

“But that’s one thing that has happened, victory or defeat hasn’t changed that.”

The aftermath of the game has generated fresh doubt over the future of boss Derek McGrath.

Moran is a teaching colleague of McGrath’s in De La Salle in Waterford city. They haven’t discussed the outlook going forward, the Waterford captain is keen to let his manager have space to make the decision.

“I’ve seen him out and about in the school and things like but, straight up, I wouldn’t talk to him about that.

“Everyone wants their space. We would talk about everything else: hurling or the club or things like that.

Derek McGrath and Dan Shanahan dejected after the game A dejected Derek McGrath after Waterford's All-Ireland final defeat to Galway. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I’m sure he’s the same as we all are, if not more so. It’s very raw for him, I’m sure. We just have to give him time and space to clear his head. There’s plenty of time.

“I genuinely don’t know (if he’ll stay on) and I’m not bypassing that question. I really hope so. We’ll just see what happens the next few weeks.”

Moran is also in the dark about his experienced team-mate Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh, who enjoyed a terrific season.

“I don’t know. Should he? He should because he had a fantastic year, an absolutely fantastic year.

“That is his own decision, there are things outside of hurling that are hugely important to him as well and that he has to analyse, things like that.

“I would love to give an answer but I don’t know. He has been as good as ever, definitely.”


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