Waterford manager Liam Cahill pictured at Croke Park.
Waterford manager Liam Cahill pictured at Croke Park.

Waterford boss Liam Cahill praises victorious Limerick outfit

By Cian O'Connell

Waterford manager Liam Cahill hailed 'a powerful Limerick outfit after Sunday's All Ireland SHC Final at Croke Park.

John Kiely's green and white team collected a second title in three years following a comprehensive win over the Deise.

"It was a really difficult day, they're a really powerful outfit and we picked a bad day really to lose our bit of consistency and our choices and our decisions on the ball, but I think that was maybe nearly the pressure that we were playing under too from the way Limerick have come back," Cahill reflected.

"Massive congratulations to them, they're a really, really good team and a real test for any opposition."

Cahill acknowledged that Waterford just couldn't generate any fluidity during the contest.

"That's absolutely correct, Limerick played with such a game plan that they had so many options and there were so many fellahs we had to keep an eye on and they were creating these overlaps, and I suppose we were concentrating on them so much it's very hard to implement your own game style," Cahill stated.

"But we came today to have a real cut and in fairness to my lads, I have to really say they went right to end.

"I know the scoreboard wasn't pretty at the end but I know that they gave it everything, looking at them from the line they emptied their stomachs to try to cling in there and do the right things. It wasn't from the want of trying today, it was just that we met superior opposition."

Tadhg de Burca was forced off injured for Waterford in the first half.
Tadhg de Burca was forced off injured for Waterford in the first half.

Despite the decider defeat encouraging signs have been available for Waterford in 2020.

"It's a raw place down there at the moment but yeah, look, we'd like to think that we made great progression this year, but the real test of us will be next year now, to see how we can build on that, to make sure that our progression stays on an upward curve all the time," Cahill stressed.

"And that's a job of work for me and the management team again now, to get down to it early next year and make sure we try to unearth a couple of new players again, to give ourselves more options.

"I suppose looking at it, the whole strength and conditioning side of it as well, to make sure physically we improve to be able to try to match the likes of Limerick and other counties out there that are so physical.

"A big job of work ahead, but a good year and a good experience for a lot of those players."

Tadhg de Burca's injury enforced depature in the opening period was another blow for Waterford.

"My initial reaction would be that it's not good, for a man who has tried unbelievably hard to get back into the shape he was in, the way he was, after having a cruciate knee ligament already last year," Cahill commented.

"I hope tomorrow we find out it's not too drastic."