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'We're fully invested in what he's bringing' - Barron backs Cahill to stay in charge of Waterford

The Déise boss’ future is up in the air following their championship exit.

PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Month for July, Jamie Barron (Waterford) with his award today at his home club The Nire-Fourmilewater GAA.
PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Month for July, Jamie Barron (Waterford) with his award today at his home club The Nire-Fourmilewater GAA.
Image: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

WATERFORD STAR JAMIE Barron “100 per cent” wants Liam Cahill stay on.

The Déise exited the All-Ireland senior championship at the semi-final stage at the weekend, with questions already being asked of manager Cahill’s future.

Speaking to the media after bowing out to reigning champions Limerick, the Tipperary native said that he was undecided on a third year following the expiration of his initial two-year term.

And while nothing was mentioned in the Croke Park dressing room Saturday evening, Barron is hoping it’s as you were for 2022.

“I think the players would be totally behind all the boys in the backroom, and every one that Liam has assembled,” the Fourmilewater man, speaking to the media as PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Month today, said.

“There are some great people around him there. You have Mikey Bevans. He’s brought in [sports psychologist) Sandra Molloy. There's our nutritionist. He's a lot of people assembled there who really fit what we're about.

We're just hoping that Liam and the boys will sit down, and want to take on another term, whether it be a year, or two, or three. We'll be fully behind them. He's after making great progress with us. If we can continue making progress at the rate we have the last two years, you'd be hoping that we can get over the line in Croke Park."

Through two Covid-19-disrupted seasons, Barron feels Waterford have positively developed. 

When Cahill -- fresh off the back of leading his native Premier county to back-to-back U21/20 titles in 2018/2019 -- took charge, the Déise hadn’t won a single championship game in two years. At the end of his second campaign, they have racked up wins over Cork, Clare, Kilkenny and Tipperary.

"From where we were, we've made a lot of progress," Barron nods. "We focus a lot on consistency. Over the last two years, since Liam came in, we feel that we have been quite consistent. We've beaten a lot of the teams out there in championship at this stage -- Limerick being the one we haven't.

We've learnt a lot from Liam. He's come from a great background there with the Tipp underage teams who've won silverware and All-Irelands. We're fully invested in what he's bringing. We fully trust in what they're doing and saying. If he can stay on for another year, or two, or three, it would be absolutely fantastic for us."

On the 11-point defeat to Limerick, the 27-year-old reflected:

"Looking back, it's been a tough few days since the game. I watched the first half there last night. I think the first half, the main issues were that we didn't convert chances that we created.

"Against a team like Limerick, you have to be converting the chances you create. We did well up to the water break; after that they tagged on four or five in-a-row.

"Once they get you at a bit of a length, it's hard to reel them back in. Missed chances were the big issue for us."

liam-cahill-during-the-game Waterford manager Liam Cahill. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

He refused to buy into talk that the throw-in delay due to the N7 accident affected them, or the fact that they played four weeks in-a-row.

On the latter, he noted: “It was something we laid down straight after the Tipp game. We said we’re not going to use any excuses about tiredness, and next week we were either going to be good enough, or we won’t. It’s not an excuse for us anyway.”

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With threats all over the pitch now — while missing big names like Tadhg de Búrca and Pauric Mahony — Barron has plenty reason to believe that Waterford are building something exciting, with bright days ahead in the future.

He feels they are getting closer to Limerick, who “over the last four years, have probably been the best team in Ireland”. The challenge now is learning from the defeats, and “closing the gap” for next year.

“If you look at the main bulk of the team now, and the panel, it’s probably coming from that U21 team that won that All-Ireland [in 2016]. It just shows there are a lot of high quality players in our team and panel.

“We’re just hoping to build on what we’ve done so far. We want to ultimately win the All-Ireland, like every team out there. Hopefully, we can get there over the next few years.

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Emma Duffy

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