Tom McGlinchey encouraged by Waterford's progress
By Cian O'Connell
The game rather than glory is what interests Tom McGlinchey, who made no secret about Waterford’s Championship for 2018.
It was simple: attain a victory. That has been achieved courtesy of a splendid attacking performance against Wexford in Round One of the All Ireland Qualifiers.
Next on the agenda, though, is a demanding assignment against Monaghan at Fraher Field and McGlinchey is looking forward to the challenge.
“The first thing is it is a home venue so it is great for the Waterford public to see a Division One team,” McGlinchey admits.
“Unless we draw Kerry or Cork it is very seldom that you will get a Division One team playing in Fraher Field. So for the Waterford GAA public to have a Division One team from Ulster coming to Dungarvan is huge in itself.
“Secondly it is a great occasion for the team, but we can't let the occasion take over the actual event itself. It is going to be good, it is going to be interesting, when you win games you pit yourself against better teams and that is what will happen every time you win a game.
“We pitted ourselves against the best team we could get in Monaghan, they were the highest ranked team we could get in this round.
'Look we have a bit of belief going into the game, but we have a bit of realism as well, we are playing against a top, top team and it is going to be very difficult.' - Tom McGlinchey
“We have them and from a Monaghan point of view it could be seen as an easy game for them to get their season back on track. We will try to make it as difficult as we possibly can for them.”
Waterford took huge encouragement and an important sense of pride from their success over Wexford. “Yeah, of course, nobody expected it apart from our own little group of players and backroom staff,” McGlinchey states.
“We had known there was a big performance in this team and the trick is now to get it again the next day. It is going to be hard because some small mistakes we made against Wexford weren't punished, while a team like Monaghan will punish you.
“That is something we are conscious and aware of, but we can't let that hamper us either, we can't be afraid of making mistakes either.
“We have to see how we cope with it. Look we have a bit of belief going into the game, but we have a bit of realism as well, we are playing against a top, top team and it is going to be very difficult.”
At the outset of the 2017 Allianz Football League Division Four campaign Waterford registered a couple of victories. It offered some optimism, but Waterford were unable to build on a solid start for a variety of reasons.
“Going back to last year we got off to a great start in that League, but because we have such a small panel last year we went into the third game against Wexford we were down two players injured compared to the first two games,” McGlinchey recalls.
“After winning two games we went into that Wexford game, we had a man sent off, we just didn't push on from winning the two League games. Then we went into the Championship and obviously put up a good performance against Cork and a reasonable performance against Derry.
“You'd have hoped that it would have taken us forward into the League this year, but things change from year to year, especially in a county like Waterford.”
While the 2018 League was short on positive results McGlinchey still took nuggets of hope from the spring campaign.
'Every year is a new challenge, but what is different is that we have a Championship win which hasn't happened in seven years.' Tom McGlinchey
“It is well documented about the huge turnover of players, but having said that it presented a new challenge,” McGlinchey adds.
“While the League didn't go well for us we did blood a lot of players compared to the year before. A lot of new players saw action and some of them did very well against Wexford the last day.
“Every year is a new challenge, but what is different is that we have a Championship win which hasn't happened in seven years. It is something that the county, myself, and everyone associated with Waterford football has to drive on with now for the coming year.”
Buoyed up by the fact that Waterford are showing signs of progress McGlinchey wants his developing team to embrace the opportunity.
“It is new to us so in a sense we are going into the unknown, but it is fantastic in that there is an added bounce in our step as regards training and the lads looking forward to the match,” McGlinchey remarks.
“Obviously you have to temper that with the fact that we are playing a Division One team, not just a Division One team, but a top six team in Monaghan. We know we are hugely up against it, but that is another challenge and is something that we have to embrace and that we have to look forward to.”