Waterford player-by-player guide: Nicky English

All-Ireland hurling final 2020

 

1 Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)

Age: 29
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 13st
Occupation: Bank official

Having a decent season. Early error against Clare but two brilliant saves killed off that match, which was the day they found their mojo. Vital part of the team with good puck-outs and of course plenty of options.

2 Ian Kenny (Ballygunner)

Age: 27
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 13st

Occuptaionon: Teacher

His semi-final performance wasn’t major surprise given his pedigree with Ballygunner and UCC Fitzgibbon career. Held his own against Kilkenny and came up with an outstanding first-half steal on TJ Reid.

3 Conor Prunty (Abbeyside)

Age: 23
Height: 6’ 4”
Weight: 15st
Occupation: Engineer

Nobody's battled harder. Took responsibility under ferocious pressure from Aron Shanagher against Clare. Difficult moments too against Kilkenny but always sticks to the job. Inspirational drive for a young captain.

4 Shane McNulty (De La Salle)

Age: 26
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 12st 9lbs
Occupation: Insurance broker

Very impressive this year. Forceful and quick when challenging and coming for the ball. Had the bottle to take on that spectacular point against Kilkenny. Has been the team's heartbeat.

5 Calum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower)

Age: 23
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 12st 7lbs
Occupation: Student

A revelation since galloping up against Cork and scoring 1-2. Against Kilkenny he lost possession after an 80-metre run. Twenty seconds later on the far wing he stuck over a point.

6 Tadhg de Búrca (Clashmore-Kinsalebeag)

Age: 26
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 13st
Occupation: Teacher

One of the best players in the game. Sweeper label is an injustice, as he could play anywhere on any intercounty team. Strong, brilliant in the air and great touch.

7 Kevin Moran (De La Salle)

Age: 33
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 14st 7lbs
Occupation: Teacher

Unbelievable mileage over years on the field. Less roving and more orthodox at wing back, he has a huge task on Gearóid Hegarty. A powerful athlete, and never let Waterford down.

8 Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater)

Age: 27
Height: 5’ 9”
Weight: 12st 6lbs
Occupation: Teacher

Has rediscovered his 2017 form when short-listed for HOTY. Outstanding midfielder back to his dynamic, foraging best. Has cured the tendency to double back and runs direct lines now.

Kieran Bennett (Ballysaggart)

Age: 26
Height: 6’
Weight: 13st
Occupation: Engineer

Does a lot in the engine room, foraging like Barron and working himself to a standstill. By the time he comes off, he’s wrecked. Strong chance he could pick up Cian Lynch.

 

10 Jack Fagan (De La Salle)

Age: 25
Height: 6’
Weight: 13st
Occupation: Car salesman

Beavering away, getting points the hard way. Work rate, pace and aerial ability plus stamina. Hugely improved and still improving. He’ll be a more confident operator than in Munster final.

11 Neil Montgomery (Abbeyside)

Age: 22
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 13st 7lbs
Occupation: Student

I was impressed after seeing him used as a ‘finisher’ for UCC in the Fitzgibbon. He brought great energy, just as he did when introduced early against Kilkenny, and also took scores.

12 Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart)

Age: 25
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 14st
Occupation: Student

Sensational - and that’s the word - this year and with a great attitude. On frees he’s mentally strong if one goes astray and some of his other scores have been inspirational. HOTY material.

13 Dessie Hutchinson (Ballygunner)

Age: 24
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 12st
Occupation: Student

Outstanding this year - and against some of the best markers. There’s no doubt Limerick will put Seán Finn on him, like in the Munster final because that’s the danger he poses.

14 Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)

Age: 25
Height: 6’ 3”
Weight: 14st 7lbs
Occupation: Engineer

Getting better but still room for improvement. Physically in good shape, he’s also more of a team player this season. Won’t have good memories of 2017 but unmarkable if he produces.

15 Jack Prendergast (Lismore)

Age: 22
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 12st 7lbs
Occupation: Student

Pushes back out as the team do. Aerially powerful and direct, very fast and hard running going forward, he’s capable of spotting a pass or taking a score. A handful.

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