Derek McGrath stepped down as Waterford boss on Monday after a 5 year stint in charge of the Waterford senior hurlers.
McGrath led the Deise to an All-Ireland Final appearance last year when they lost out to Galway in a cracking final. However, this year Waterford failed to build on that and had a poor league campaign and were subsequently relegated by Cork in the play-off, they also had a disappointing Munster round Robin campaign failing to qualify in the top three. In fairness were dealt by significant injuries especially in the Clare game, where several key players were absent and several players were injured which doesn’t help the cause. But Derek McGrath to his credit got on with it and never put the issue of been without players in the way of putting in performances and winning games, however they only managed 1 point from 4 games, which wasn’t enough.
After Sunday’s defeat to Cork it was expected that McGrath would call it a day on his tenure as boss. He confirmed the news on Monday night in a statement and said ” Tonight I have informed the Waterford County Board of my decision to step aside as manager of the Waterford senior hurling team”. He went on to thanks his backroom teams over the past 5 years, he said ” Having the opportunity to work with and learn from a backroom team whose professionalism, expertise and knowledge was matched only by their altruism, McGrath who teaches at De La Salle in Waterford said further ”I would like to especially thank my selectors Dan and Eoin. Loyalty, sincerity, excellence and totality of effort were at the heart of everything you have brought the passion back into the Waterford fans and instilled believe in his players”.
McGrath went on to thank the county board as well as his family. ”I want to put on record my appreciation and thanks to the Waterford County Board for appointing me for a period of five years and Club Déise for their vision, their generosity and their commitment to excellence in good and bad times, I wish to thank my wife Sarah, my two boys Fionn and Odhran, my parents and sister and indeed Sarah’s family for their unwavering and unequivocal support during my tenure”. McGrath paid tribute to the Waterford players and thanked them for their efforts ”I wish to thank and pay tribute to an incredible bunch of players that I have had the honour to manage over this five-year period. The joy, the tears, the sense of camaraderie and the memories shared will stay with me forever. Embarking on this journey with a group of young players we aimed to cultivate a culture of honesty, integrity and pride every time we represented our beloved county”.
He closed his statement by saying ”Gan Staonadh Le Cheile, Gach Rud, Gach La. McGrath always gave honest opinions it’s what I like to see in managers. He was an astute manager and always gave 100 percent in any task he done. We at SportsnewsIreland.com wish him all the best in his future.