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Saturday 10 December 2016

I'm sceptical of fans: McGrath

DEREK McGRATH'S nine-year-old son hasn't attended a Waterford match since last year's league mauling by Kilkenny.

Such was the "insensitivity" from the Nowlan Park stand that day that Fionn McGrath hasn't been back and so was watching from home yesterday as the Déise toppled Cork to claim the NHL title.

Reflecting on the fickle nature of support at inter-county level, the year-two boss said they have embraced the born-again support of the Déise faithful but admitted: "That was very difficult for me to overcome because I would have been naturally sceptical of fans."

He recalled a previous game, several years ago, "sitting in the stand and Dan (Shanahan) was taken off and a fella beside me stood up and applauded.

SCEPTICAL

"I would have been naturally sceptical or paranoid over how harsh it is for people with their families in the stands. I think we've got over that and we've just embraced the fans themselves and tried to get them on board.

"I think they're returning. Obviously victories help and even personally ... my own son is nine years of age. He left the Kilkenny (league) game last year after 45 minutes, we were 17 or 18 points behind, such was the level of, not abuse, but the level of insensitivity. That goes with the territory, I'm acknowledging that, but he hasn't been at a match yet this year.

"If Fionn can be acknowledged for it, he can stay away for the rest of the year now!" he quipped.

"It'd be ideal that he stays at home. I got to talk to him on the phone, so he's delighted at home. There's an amount of emotion involved for any family with people involved ... but it's a bad world out there when it doesn't go well."

Waterford

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