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'It’s been tough going to date' - Waterford delight at change over players attending games

Manager Liam Cahill is pleased that all panel members can travel for the All-Ireland final.

Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

WATERFORD BOSS LIAM Cahill has welcomed the news that his entire panel will be allowed to travel to Sunday week’s All-Ireland hurling final.

Cahill was one of the managers that has criticised the restrictions which prevented his additional panel members from attending games and again called for change in the wake of last Saturday’s win over Kilkenny.

But speaking at a media event tonight at the Fraher Field in Dungarvan, he praised all those involved in making the change.

“It’s brilliant news, I’m delighted to be able to bring all our panel to Dublin for the All-Ireland.

“It’s been tough going to date, I think that’s been well aired by a lot of managers to. Just really happy that has been approved. I think it’s well done to everyone concerned for making it happen.”

Waterford have no fresh injury worries with defender Shane Fives, who started their opening two championship games, back in contention for selection.

“Shane Fives is back from injury after the Munster final and is training well,” stated Cahill.

“He’s putting himself into contention for the All-Ireland final, for selection. Everybody else is fine as of now. We still have a number of training sessions to get through and we just hope that everyone gets through those okay.”

The traditional All-Ireland final arrangements will be dispensed with this year as Waterford plan to travel up and down to Dublin on the Sunday. Cahill outlined how his players are thankful to get the opportunity to participate in such an occasion.

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the-waterford-team-after-the-game The Waterford team after their quarter-final against Clare. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“We’ll go to Dublin on the Sunday, play our match, please God we’ll perform, and then just come home. That’s the way it is. We’ll get our takeaway food in Croke Park and come away home, that’s what we did last Saturday in Croke Park, and come back down the road to our families straight away.

“It’s strange, but it’s also humbling. It brings people back to basics, and we’re just glad to have the opportunity to play at all. There’s a lot of gratitude around my camp in particular that we got our games played. Now we’re in an All-Ireland final it’s marvellous.

“But the logistics are quite simple. We’ll be adhering to the guidelines, all of them, and we’ll do whatever is asked of us.”

With no dilemmas over the distribution of match tickets facing players, Cahill hopes that will be of assistance.

“I think that’s a help. With big games it’s a real distraction, whether you’re Dublin, going to those games every year, or a county in its first final in a long number of years.

It’s a distraction because it’s something players find difficult to deal with – it’s something I found difficult to deal with myself as a player and I’m glad that that burden isn’t on players this year in particular.

“It is a help, I think, for a player with his mindset and with his performance leading into a match.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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