Derek McGrath will continue on as Waterford senior hurling manager in 2018, write John Fogarty and Colm O’Connor.
The De La Salle man, who guided the Déise to this year’s All-Ireland final, as well as a league title in 2015 and successive Munster finals in ’15 and ’16, has two seasons remaining on his current agreement with the county board.
McGrath told county board officials he would remain in charge next year, though it had been anticipated he would receive an extension to his term following Waterford’s run to the final.
Waterford enjoyed their first championship win over Kilkenny this year since 1959 and McGrath is known to have the overwhelming backing of the players. Had he chosen not to stay on, retirements and other player unavailability were likely to happen.
Questions remain about the board’s backing of McGrath and the team holiday had been a subject of difference. McGrath was seeking parity in the size of the break with previous All-Ireland runners-up, despite reports suggesting he was looking for a holiday akin to winners Galway. Waterford are expected to travel to New York and Cancun, Mexico, the same destinations as Galway, but over a shorter timeframe.
Speaking last month, selector Dan Shanahan explained the delay in McGrath confirming his intentions was down to deliberations with the county board. Shanahan stated the management team had been “50-50” about remaining on, as they had yet to receive sufficient backing from the board for their plans going into 2018.
Prior to their All-Ireland semi-final, McGrath dismissed suggestions he was in the frame for the Dublin job, citing the conjecture as “rumour-mongering”.
Waterford begin their Allianz Division 1A league campaign at home to Wexford on January 28 and the Munster campaign with a trip to Clare on May 27.
Elsewhere, Limerick’s Gavin O’Mahony has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling.
The 30-year-old Kilmallock hurler said: “I feel very fortunate to have had the honour to represent Limerick over the course of my career.
“I would like to take this opportunity to wish the current Limerick panel the very best for 2018 and for the future.”
Meanwhile, Semple Stadium will host the AIB Munster Club senior hurling championship final between Na Piarsaigh and Ballygunner on Sunday, November 19. The throw in is at 2pm.
Provincial bosses have also fixed the intermediate hurling final for the same afternoon, with Clare champions Kilmaley facing Cork’s Kanturk at 2pm in the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick.
Wayne Quillinan is the new manager of the Austin Stacks senior football team. He will replace outgoing manager Pat Flanagan for the 2018 campaign, the club confirmed yesterday.
Saturday: AIB Ulster Club SFC semi-final: Kilcar (Donegal) v Slaughtneil (Derry), Healy Park, 6.30pm.
Sunday: AIB Munster Club SFC semi-finals: Dr Crokes (Kerry) v Kilmurry-Ibrickane (Clare), Lewis Road, 2pm; Nemo Rangers (Cork) v Adare (Limerick), Mallow, 2.45pm.
AIB Munster Club IFC semi-finals: An Ghaeltacht (Kerry) v Mallow (Cork), Mallow, 1pm; St Senan’s (Limerick) v Kilmihill (Clare), Newcastle West, 2pm.
AIB Munster Club JHC semi-finals: Ardmore (Waterford) v Boydke (Clare), WIT Carriganore, 2pm; Ballybacon-Grange (Tipperary) v Brian Dillons or St. Catherines (Cork), Ardfinnan, 2pm.
AIB Leinster Club SHC quarter-finals: Rathnew (Wicklow) v St Vincents (Dublin), Joule Park, Aughrim, 2pm; Portlaoise (Laois) v Moorefield (Kildare), O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, 2pm; St Columbas Mullinalaghta (Longford) v St Lomans (Westmeath), Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 2pm; Starlights (Wexford) v Simonstown Gaels (Meath), Innovate Wexford Park, 2pm.
AIB Connacht Club SFC semi-finals: Corofin (Galway) v St Brigid’s (Roscommon), Tuam Stadium, 2pm; Castlebar (Mayo) v Tourlestrane (Sligo), MacHale Park (2pm).
AIB Ulster Club SFC semi-final: Cavan Gaels (Cavan) v Derrygonnelly Harps (Fermanagh), Clones, 2pm.
NOVEMBER 19th: AIB Munster Club SHC final:
Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) v Ballygunner (Waterford), Semple Stadium,
AIB Munster Club IHC final: Kanturk (Cork) v Kilmaley (Clare), Gaelic Grounds,
This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.