Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

18.20 14 Aug 2019


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Derek McGrath knows what it's like to prepare for an All-Ireland hurling final.

The former Waterford manager, who's pondering a possible return, led his team to the 2017 decider against Galway.

As the 2019 hurling final between Kilkenny and Tipperary approaches, Electric Ireland GAA Minor Hurling Championship ambassador McGrath shared his thoughts on what to look out for on Sunday.

He told Joe Molloy the checklist of tactical moves he'll be looking out for.

"Ahead of Sunday, you're probably going to look out for initially match-ups," he said.

Unknown Territory

"Will Brendan Maher pick up TJ Reid? And therefore if he does pick him up, will TJ bring him into unknown territory?

"Will he bring him into full-forward where Brendan has played on Aaron Gillane for a while in fairness this year?

"I think you're going to look as well in terms of the Kilkenny puck-out set-up. Will Walter Walsh, TJ Reid and John Donnelly retreat 15-20 yards off their men? Will they form a cordon across the middle of the field with the two midfielders there?

"Sitting in front of Conor Fogarty and Padraig Walsh, sitting in front of Paddy Deegan. They may have a situation where they'll allow the 10, 11 and 12 of Tipp and the 10, 11 and 12 of Kilkenny almost dual roles."

McGrath is also interested in how Tipp deploy Padraic Maher if his namesake Brendan has to follow TJ Reid back.

"Say he picks up Walter Walsh in an obvious physical match-up, will [Liam] Sheedy have said, 'Listen, we're willing to conceded 2-3 points to Walter Walsh. You tuck in there and we'll cut down the space in front of [Colin] Fennelly.

"Which is something we would've done with Waterford. Darragh Fives would have picked up Walter Walsh but we would've said to Darragh, 'Listen, don't mind conceding 2-3 points from Walter Walsh. You tuck in as well and we'll protect that full-back line as well.

"So I think there's evidence there that would suggest that both teams will go about it in that particular manner. Even though retrospectively, it'll be talked about as a conventional final, I think you'll see a lot of intriguing things going on."

You can watch the full interview via our YouTube channel. Derek McGrath also discussed his regrets from his first spell in charge as well as whether he wants to return now. And he also touched on his recent comments on the game while on Sunday Game duty.


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All-ireland Derek McGrath Kilkenny Tipperary Waterford

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