McGrath welcomes “feelgood factor”


Tipperary’s Noel McGrath
12 August 2010

Noel McGrath says Tipperary’s progression to the All-Ireland senior and under 21 hurling semi-finals has given rise to a "feelgood factor" in the county.

McGrath, who is a key member of both teams, is just as excited about the under 21 team’s extended championship run as that of the senior team.

"We went down to Cork (Munster semi-final win) and got out by the skin of our teeth, then another titanic battle in the Munster final, against Clare. It took us a while to get going but when we did, I thought we performed very well. It was a huge match to win, against Clare – they were All-Ireland champions, and to beat them in Thurles was big," he said.

"I’m delighted with that, qualified for another All-Ireland semi-final (along with the senior) – you couldn’t ask for any more at this time of the year. With so many lads on both the senior and U21 panels, winning the U21 was a big thing for us all.

"It brings momentum, and with the win over Galway (in the All-Ireland senior quarter-final), then the good win against Clare in the U21, there’s a feelgood factor around the county for the last few weeks – it helps, yes."

The 2009 Young Hurler of the Year has no worries about burnout.

"It’s good in a way that I’m able to play all those matches, it would be a lot worse if I was sitting at home watching on, especially at this time of the year, with the All-Ireland semi-finals coming up.

"I enjoy playing, and when you’re enjoying what you’re doing you don’t feel tired. For me it’s no problem, I’m just happy we’ve progressed so far, still contesting for honours at this time of the year."

McGrath has huge respect for Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final opponents Waterford.

"Waterford have been there for so long, 10 or 11 years at the very top and they’re still there. They have such big players – we know it’s going to be a tough task. We played them in the Munster final last year, only four points in it. They’re a good team, Munster champions, they’ve beaten Cork. We’re looking forward to it but we don’t underestimate the task," he added.

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