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'That chapter is finished for myself now' - No plans for county return for Waterford All-Star

Stephen O’Keeffe is happy to focus on club duties with Ballygunner.

Stephen O'Keeffe (file photo) after Ballygunner's 2018 Munster final win.
Stephen O'Keeffe (file photo) after Ballygunner's 2018 Munster final win.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

WATERFORD’S ALL-STAR winning goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe has no plans for an inter-county comeback with that chapter of his hurling career now finished.

It was announced last December that O’Keeffe had informed Waterford manager Liam Cahill that he would be unavailable for the 2021 campaign.

Yesterday the 2017 All-Star winner was between the posts as his club Ballygunner cruised to their 8th successive Waterford senior hurling title.

After being a constant presence in the Waterford side since his championship debut in 2012, the 30-year-old is now happy to concentrate on club duties with Ballygunner, paying tribute to current county netminders Shaun O’Brien and Billy Nolan.

“No, no we won’t, that’s finished for me now,” O’Keeffe told TG4 after yesterday’s game, when asked if he would be seen back in Waterford colours in 2022.

“In fairness the two lads, Shaun and Billy, are doing brilliant in there now. So there’d be no guarantees even if I went back now there’d be a place for me at this stage.

“I think, I’ve given it a good nine, ten years now, that chapter is finished for myself now.

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“Really enjoying playing with the brothers now and some of the childhood friends here with Ballygunner, it’s after giving me a real lease of life. So I’m really enjoying it, not ready to give it up just yet.”

After their latest comprehensive final win in Waterford, Ballygunner will go forward to the Munster club championship with a quarter-final tie on 27/28 November against the Clare champions.

Ballygunner have reached the last three Munster senior club hurling deciders, winning the title in 2018 against Limerick’s Na Piarsaigh.

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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