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Exclusive: Austin Gleeson Talks Venue, Preferred Position And The System Ahead Of Munster Final

Austin Gleeson Waterford

Waterford and Tipperary face off in the Munster final on Sunday afternoon in Limerick. The Gaelic Grounds was chosen to host the game, despite the fact that last year’s clash between the two counties took place in Thurles. Déise star Austin Gleeson, speaking exclusively to Pundit Arena, played down the venue as a factor ahead of the clash.

“I don’t really mind where we play. We played the Munster Minor final in Limerick three years ago, and played the Munster Final in Thurles [last year].

“We’re comfortable playing in Thurles. This year alone we’re after playing in Semple Stadium four times. We’ve played more games in Thurles than we have in Walsh Park. It’s a home away from home.

“The venue has no impact on the game from a player’s point of view. It’s probably people from the outside worried about traffic.

“It’s just another game and hopefully we can win the Munster title.”

Austin Gleeson Waterford

Gleeson is widely regarded as one of the best backs in the country at present, but in the Munster semi-final he was deployed in a more attacking role. At present, he is enjoying his licence to roam.

“There’s such freedom involved in the role, helping out in the backs and the midfield, and then trying to get forward. It kind of worked out for me the last day, balls went over rather than going wide.

“I don’t really care where I am in the team as long as I’m in the 1-15. If the lads decide to play me in a different position, so be it, I’ll play there.

“We haven’t changed it [the system], we’re just more used to it. The lads have come in, and we’re getting used to the roles that we’ve put faith in, and thank God it’s working for us.

“We have to keep faith with it and we’ll see where it takes us.”

Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Semi-Final, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary 17/4/2016 Waterford vs Limerick Waterford's of Limerick Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

The poor record of Munster champions later in the summer is not something that worries Gleeson, despite the fact that a five week break would be the longest Waterford will have gone without a competitive match in 2016.

“There’s no real disadvantage for winning Munster. It’s a title that you’re going to celebrate.

“It’s a title that’s well earned, and everyone wants to win one. It shouldn’t really have an effect on teams. The way it works out is that you’re also going to end up against a team that has reached a semi-final, and they’re as good as your team or maybe even better than your team, and that’s the way it works.

“The management would have ideas in place if it comes down to a five week break on what we could do, and what way we could go about it. We may have club games in between. If it comes down to the five week break, we’ll figure it out.”


If you’re at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday, make sure to catch up with Pundit Arena who will be conducting fan interviews at the match.


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Author: The PA Team

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