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For all Waterford's progress Liam Cahill did wrong by two players

As Liam Cahill is praised for his work with the Waterford hurlers this year, Limerick All-Ireland...

For all Waterford's progress L...

For all Waterford's progress Liam Cahill did wrong by two players

As Liam Cahill is praised for his work with the Waterford hurlers this year, Limerick All-Ireland winner Shane Dowling admitted that he was disappointed with how the Tipperary native culled certain panel members upon taking on the job. 

In his first year managing Waterford's senior hurlers, Liam Cahill is only one win away from ending a 61-year wait for All-Ireland success in the county.

Should they defeat Limerick in Croke Park on Sunday, Shane Dowling appreciates that the Tipperary native's decision-making will be adjudged to have been a crucial factor.

Nevertheless, alongside Kilkenny's Aiden Fogarty and Waterford's Noel Connors on the OTB Sports All-Ireland Final preview show, Dowling admitted that he has not been impressed with every aspect of Cahill's approach.

Principally, the manner in which Cahill dealt with the departures of Connors and Maurice Shanahan upset the Limerick man.

"I'm not just saying this because he's on the call with us," Dowling explained, "but the way he handled the situation with Noel and Maurice at the start of the year, two stalwarts of Waterford GAA, to be thrown off with a 3 or 4 minute phone-call, that's disappointing."

Shortly after taking on the role in late 2019, Liam Cahill surprised many by announcing the departures of both Connors and Shanahan from the Waterford panel.

Players who had featured heavily throughout the county's most recent run to an All-Ireland final in 2017, the two 30-year-old former All-Stars were deemed unsuitable by Cahill to the style he wanted his team to play.

"I think [Liam Cahill] put himself under huge pressure early on because if things didn't go well for him then that could have come back to bite him," Dowling suggested.

"Obviously, it is like everything though and if you go on and win something you've made the right call and if you don't then you've made the wrong call. [This is] not so much the decision though, because I can't comment on whether the decision itself was right or wrong - that's his own business."

Although Connors explained that he holds no grudge against the Waterford manager as his county prepares for Sunday's decider, Dowling was adamant that there is a correct way in which any inter-county player should be treated and Cahill failed to observe that.

"How it was done though was disappointing," he assessed. "Sure, it is very simple, you ring up the phone and ask to meet the fella.

"I know that within the Limerick set-up if you're someone who has been there for 10 years or 2 years, whatever the case may be, that you'll be met in person and given the respect of a conversation.

"It is a hard thing to do and, in my opinion, the easy thing to do is to pick up the phone. It is the hard thing to do to go and meet someone face to face, but it is the right thing to do.

"The one bit of advice I was given last year was that the hardest thing you've to do is generally the right thing to do and meeting someone face to face is the hard thing."

Liam Cahill 3 September 2017; Noel Connors after the All-Ireland Final. Photo by Sportsfile

Alongside Dowling on this afternoon's All-Ireland final preview show, Noel Connors admitted that he has taken no great issue with the decision made by Liam Cahill.

"Every loss is an opportunity for me," he explained, "[and] I've a 20-month-old downstairs who is probably the wrecking the house at the minute.

"Obviously I'd love to be playing tomorrow, don't get me wrong. But you do look at the other side of it and I probably would have been out of the house six nights a week if I was still playing.

"I wouldn't say I had a distraction, but I had plenty to be putting my energy towards. Everything is good."

You can watch the OTB Sports All-Ireland final preview show with Shane Dowling, Noel Connors and Aiden Fogarty here

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All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship All Ireland Final Liam Cahill Limerick Maurice Shanahan Noel Connors Shane Dowling Waterford