Waterford hurlers have been dealt a pre-championship blow with the departure of Kieran Bennett from their squad.
The Ballysaggart clubman - a goalscorer in the 2017 All-Ireland SHC final - will be travelling this summer and released a statement today through Waterford County Board confirming his departure from the Na Deise panel:
"During the Easter Holidays I told Derek [McGrath] of my decision to travel for the summer.
"Having finished my 4th year of college in LIT, I feel this this summer is my best opportunity to travel before seeking full time employment. The Waterford management have always encouraged us to be the best we can be in all aspects of life and although disappointed with my decision, spoke to me about the importance of living and wished me well.
"I just want to wish both the players and management the best for the upcoming Championship. The bond that has been created in the team has to be seen to be believed, which made my decision even harder.
"I have learned so much in the last three years and I would like to thank the players, the backroom team and particularly Derek, Dan and Eoin for their understanding and professionalism."