Murray eyes Waterford rebirth

Conor Murray is hoping the Ephie Fitzgerald era will bring about a new age for Waterford football.

Murray was speaking at the launch of the Tailteann Cup, where Waterford will be travelling up to face Wicklow in Aughrim this Saturday.

The Tailteann Cup is a second tier competition for counties who did not qualify for the All Ireland Senior Football Championships. This is the inaugural year of the competition.

Murray has been involved with Waterford for eight seasons now, but has only registered one win in his time. He has revealed there are a list of reasons why Waterford football is not where it should be. One reason is the high turnover in squads every season, but Murray understands why players flee the roost.

“It’s been really hard to keep the same squad together. Every year you are back to square one. When Ephie came in at the start of the year, himself and Peter [Leahy] put a big emphasis on the fact that this isn’t a one-year job, it’s a two or three-year process.”

The Rathgormack man highlighted the poor Waterford attitude as another factor behind the demise. He is insistent that they will need to shed any inferiority complex and play to their full strengths if they are to progress.

“We tend to feel a bit sorry for ourselves in Waterford. That is something he [Fitzgerald] is trying to get rid of. When things go wrong, we tend to give up and revert back to type. He is trying to get rid of that losers mentality.”

As a player, Fitzgerald won four All Ireland Senior Club Football Championship medals with Nemo Rangers and since delving into management, has took the Rangers club to Senior Cork and Munster success. Murray believes the Corkman is trying to install his winning mentality into the Waterford panel.

“He’s trying to get a bit of a steely edge into us, I suppose a bit of his Cork arrogance. He is trying to pass a bit of that onto us. That will stand us in good stead if he can get that into us.”

Waterford finished bottom of Division 4, with just a point, and were beaten by Tipperary in the Munster championship so are still chasing a first win of 2022. “If you don’t have the attitude you won’t stick at it. It comes down to mindset and down to attitude.”

Final year Journalism student in DCU. St. Pats reporter. Celtic supporter.

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