Dan Shanahan plays down effects of Fitzgibbon Cup red cards

Waterford selector believes sendings off of college players will not harm county

Waterford senior hurler Austin Gleeson was sent off while playing for Waterford IT against Limerick IT in the Fitzgibbon Cup on Tuesday. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Waterford senior hurler Austin Gleeson was sent off while playing for Waterford IT against Limerick IT in the Fitzgibbon Cup on Tuesday. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

 

WATERFORD selector Dan Shanahan has backed Colin Dunford and Austin Gleeson to respond positively to their Fitzgibbon Cup red cards.

Dunford received his marching orders in IT Carlow’s quarter-final defeat to UCD on Tuesday evening, while Gleeson was sent off as Waterford IT crashed out at the hands of Limerick IT on Wednesday afternoon.

Shanahan has described the demands on young players attempting to combine third-level and county commitments at this time of year as “unbelievable”.

Suffering

Allianz League

Former Hurler of the Year Shanahan said: “They were just unfortunate to get the red cards – it happens in hurling. It could be someone else on finals weekend. I don’t know what happened with Colin while Austin took a bit of stick, gave a bit back and came out on the wrong side of it.

“We keep these matters in house and the lads will be fine.”

Shanahan added: “It’s unbelievable, the demands on players, especially lads playing Fitzgibbon. But with respect to the teams that are gone, we’re kind of lucky to have all of our lads back. Other counties aren’t the same.

Shane Bennett is involved with Limerick IT but apart from that I don’t think we have anyone else.

“The lads, when they come back from Fitzgibbon, are tired and weather conditions are atrocious, hard on the legs. When it’s hard on the legs, it’s hard on the mind.

“But Cork are in the same boat and the lads are looking forward to it. We won’t do much on Friday night and after Saturday, the lads can have a good rest as we have a couple of weeks off before the Tipperary game.”

Maximum points

Shanahan rejected claims that the heavy Walsh Park sod was a factor in Waterford’s opening day win, pointing out that the squad train at the Carriganore base.

He said: “We never went near Walsh Park. And if you looked at Thurles and Limerick on Saturday night, both pitches were extremely heavy, and they’re two of the top pitches in the country.

“Walsh Park is well behind them and was bound to be heavy but I thought it held up very well. The pitch was heavy for both teams – we were just better on the day than Kilkenny.”

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