Derek McGrath set to be appointed new Waterford hurling manager
GAA stand over drug testing programme, saying it acts as deterrent
Derek McGrath celebrates with the De La Salle team after winning the Waterford senior hurling title in 2012. Photograph: Inpho.
Derek McGrath is expected to become the new Waterford senior hurling manager. Last night he won the endorsement of the selection sub-committee appointed to recommend a candidate to succeed Michael Ryan whose two-year tenure ended last summer when he lost a vote of confidence amongst the players, having narrowly failed to defeat Kilkenny in the All-Ireland qualifiers after extra time.
The other contender for the position was former county hurler Peter Queally who last week led Passage to the club’s first senior county hurling title.
McGrath came to prominence when coaching his school De La Salle College to successive All-Ireland colleges titles in 2007 and 2008 and guided the De La Salle club to a Waterford senior title in 2012.
It has been reported that McGrath’s back-room team will include 2007 Hurler of the Year Dan Shanahan and William Maher who managed the Tipperary minors to last year’s All-Ireland.
The selection committee comprised county chair Tom Cunningham, vice-chair John O’Leary, secretary Timmy O’Keeffe, treasurer Joe Cleary and former players Stephen Frampton and James Murray.
The GAA have expressed disagreement with Kilkenny doctor Tadhg Crowley, who questioned on RTÉ radio at the weekend the benefits of drug testing, both generally and specifically in relation to the Gaelic games.
Reacting to the comments, Fergal McGill, the association’s head of games administration and player welfare, who is also a member of the Croke Park Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee said he believed testing to be an important in policing performance-enhancing drugs.
“Tadhg, who has been a valued member of the committee himself, was expressing a personal position on this but as an association we feel it’s important to retain this procedure as a way of ensuring that our sports stay clean.
“It’s true our players would have an easier life if they didn’t have to submit to the testing but given the world we live in it’s important that then GAA takes a strong stance on this and are known to.
“It’s also important players know it too.”
Speaking to Marion Finucane on Sunday, Dr Crowley had this to say about testing in Gaelic games: “After the big matches two players are taken aside and tested in a room. People from the outside are probably looking in thinking it will make sure there is no drug testing in the sport. There has been no positive drug test in the sport and yet these amateurs have to spend up to, I’ve certainly been in the room, until after 9pm, waiting.
“I’d be arguing why are we doing it at all? These are amateur games. There’s been no positive testing in the game.”