Fitzgerald gives veterans a rest

January 12, 2010

Waterford and Limerick IT manager Davy Fitzgerald
Half a dozen of Waterford's longest-serving players will not be asked to return to training until the middle of March at least. Deise boss Davy Fitzgerald will rest veterans Tony Browne, Dan Shanahan, Ken McGrath, Eoin Murphy, Seamus Prendergast and John Mullane in the hope that they will be fully refreshed when the championship comes around. As a result, they will miss the Waterford Crystal tournament as well as the National League games against Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Cork. Speaking to the Irish Independent, Fitzgerald was confident that the team's most senior players, Browne and Shanahan, would put off any thoughts of retirement for another year at least. "They are all on individual programmes at the moment under the guidance of Ger Hartmann, including the two lads (Browne and Shanahan)," he said. "It's a gamble we're probably taking leaving them out for so long. But we need to manage them as well as we can, get the best out of them at the right time of the season. "Tony Browne has done it for the last few years and it has served him very well. If everyone came back the way Tony does, well we wouldn't have any problems." Ken McGrath has been plagued with injuries and missed most of last year with a knee problem. Stephen Molumphy could also miss the opening round of the league as he is not due back until mid-February as he continues his latest tour of duty with the armed forces. "We'll be without seven key players and I accept that's a lot but it won't diminish our effort in the league whatsoever. We'll be working hard for as many good results as we can get," he added. Meanwhile, the former Clare goalkeeper was able to oversee a couple of training sessions near the coast in Ardmore and Lismore last week, but planned challenge matches against Wexford and Limerick IT fell victim to the freezing weather. "We were training away," he confirmed. "The cold was unreal, the sweat was nearly freezing on fellas, but the pitches were grand. It has gotten much worse in the last few days, though, and conditions are very bad for driving."

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