Liam Cahill was watching on desperately as Galway came storming back in the final quarter against his Waterford team, as the Tribesmen reduced the gap from 16 points down to three.
The Tipperary native was trying to effect change on the field, but found it difficult without having a runner to bring the message into his players.
At this year’s GAA Congress, maor foirne running onto the field was banned, and without such an option, Cahill struggled to make tactical tweaks.
“It is really difficult for the simple reason the rule of taking away the maor foirne is a disaster,” he said after Waterford’s four-point win.
“I can understand a lot of why it was looked at initially because the activity in and around the field and a nightmare for referees, and I can understand that. But not every maor foirne abuses it. Our maor foirne, Mikey Bevans, it is not about him running out onto the field, he’s not into that business. It is about supporting the players, making switches.
“There was 4,500 people here today, the players couldn’t hear us on the sideline. Imagine if there as 40,000 people here today, it is definitely a hindrance when it comes to reorganising your team. And it is a pity because the amount of work these fellas put in, they do need support from the sideline and help, no matter how experienced you might think they are. We are on the line, we can see what is required and getting to a player could be the difference between progressing in the championship and not.
“It is educating this Waterford team to think for themselves on the field and that is important.”
Cahill hails ‘brilliant attitude’
Meanwhile, he was thrilled with his side’s showing as they came good to knock out Galway.
“These fellas show me that all the time at training. I can’t emphasise that enough. They have a brilliant attitude,” Cahill said.
“They are easily managed. I know people reading this will say he is all about them today when they win and he wasn’t as complimentary as he should have been after the exit to Clare in the Munster Championship. That’s because I know what is in these boys. Will they win every day they go out? I don’t know. But can they perform every day better than they did against Laois and the game before, yes, they can. Hopefully today will ignite us that little bit, it’ll need to because it is monster stuff from here on in.”
Jamie Barron played a starring role in midfield, and was named man of the match.
It was particularly impressive given his limited game-time in the lead-up, having struggled with injury.
“Jamie was a serious player ever before I came to Waterford, he was leading the lines in the middle of the field for Waterford for the years, a three-time All-Star,” Cahill outlined.
“[He] came back from a fairly nasty injury. No real prep, only his own bit of personal training and his bit of ball work with us when he was fit enough to partake in training. To come out into a cauldron like that today and hit the ground running just tells you he is a serious warrior. Very fortunate to have him and pure thrilled that he came through it. Hopefully, he’ll be fit again for next weekend.”
Next up for Waterford is an All-Ireland quarter-final date with Tipperary on Saturday.
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