1 Stephen O’keeffe (Ballygunner)
Very consistent this summer. Has only been beaten three times. Distribution is solid. Tends to play a lot of short puck-outs. At times, he’d be better served if he went for distance. Excellent shot-stopper, particularly when the sliotar is travelling above knee height. Always makes himself available if defenders get into bother. Stephen O’keefe Noel Connors Conor Whelan Barry Coughlan Conor Cooney Shane Fives Jonathan Glynn Darragh Fives Philip Mahony Cathal Mannion Tadhg De Búrca Kieran Bennett Jamie Barron Joe Canning Kevin Moran Joseph Cooney Management:
Derek has had his critics, both inside and outside the county. He is playing to the strengths of what he has at his disposal. Some people would question the level to which he makes himself available to the press. I don’t see any issue with it. I’d like to put a GPS tracker on Dan because he’s putting up more mileage than most players on match-day. Is it that he wants to show off his legs? Dan would see a lot more if he stood up and watched the game from the one position. Derek made a great play in bringing in Eoin Murphy and Fergal Hartley. They bring a wealth of experience to the table. Management is to be commended for the physical conditioning of the Waterford players for they really are in top shape.
Waterford definitely have the upper hand here. Plenty of evidence from their recent games to support this. Derek has used the bench smartly this summer. Maurice Shanahan is a serious weapon to have if the forward unit finds themselves being suffocated. Brian O’halloran and Tommy Ryan have done the business when sprung from the bench. Patrick Curran, too, is an exciting prospect. Lest we forget Colin Dunford and Stephen Bennett, the latter appearing to have dropped down the pecking order since picking up a one-match ban after the Munster semifinal. Plenty of experience there by comparison with Galway. Given the physicality of the Galway defence, Tom Devine will be missed in terms of bench options. Bit shy when it comes to defensive cover. Cork selector