Dan Shanahan, Waterford hurling legend, was the latest guest on the Clash Act Podcast and was very candid about his time playing for The Deise.
Over the course of the hour, the man nicknamed Dan The man spoke with Eddie Scally at length about the tumultuous few years leading up to his retirement, that included an All Ireland loss and clashes with management.
Justin McCarthys tenure coming to an end.
Shanahan Spoke about the infamous picture taken of Dan seemingly refusing managers Justin McCarthys handshake when being substituted. Waterford were on the cusp of being knocked out of the Munster Championship by Clare. This lead to an extremely agitated Shanahan who annoyed at his own performance which in turn lead to the snub of McCarthys hand.
“In 07 I got hurler of the year, and there is a bit of pressure in that. I deserved to be taken off in 08 against Clare. I was bad, but I was not the only fella. The way the camera caught the picture, it was almost like Roy Keane & Mick McCarthy! There was no intention of disrespect to Justin, at the time there was a big cheer from the fans. I should of getting a kick up the hole instead of getting a clap on the back. People took it wrong, is he getting big headed? I was just disappointed in myself. There was no grudges, only for Justin I would not have had 3 All Stars.”
Although the snub was not intentional, it encapsulated the frustration in the camp between the Cork manager and his Waterford players. Within a week of the defeat McCarthy was gone. Speaking about the dismissal Shanahan confirmed it was the players uniting to force McCarthy to be relived of his duties after seven years in charge.
“Us as players got rid of Justin, even though that’s a bad way of putting it, but we did. He probably should of gone in 07. As a team we felt like he should of went and the county board backed us.”
Enter Davy Fitzgerald, who host Eddie Scally said the GAA have Waterford to thank for his introduction into the intercounty management game. In the current Wexford managers four seasons in charge he guided the team to a first All-Ireland final appearance in 45 years as well as the Munster Championship title in 2010. Speaking about his time under current Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald, Dan gave an insight into his time under Davy.
“I think Davy brought another level of professionalism, we were not fit at the time, but he brought another level of fitness. Of course you are going to get a response, Davy is a fantastic coach and manager. He could not lose weather we won the All Ireland or not.”
While quick to compliment Davy, he also pinpoints him as a reason for his retirement.
“I was not getting much game-time, in 08 I didn’t have the best year. I did not get much time in 09. Was there a place for Dan Shanahan, there definitely was. I thought I was good enough to start games, Davy didn’t, but there was a lot of games I took Davy out of holes.”
“I asked Davy what do I have to do to get onto the team and he never answered me. He kept saying you must think of the team, there was no better man that thought of the team more then Dan Shanahan I can tell you that.”
Meeting Kilkenny in 2008 All Ireland final
Fitzgerald and Waterford managed to make it to an All Ireland final in 2008, where they would come up against a Kilkenny team in their prime. Dan believes both players and management got their gameplan wrong.
“We got it wrong as players, but I think the manager got it wrong too. Instructing different players to upset different Kilkenny players, it didn’t work. When you go out to try and hit Eddie Brennan and he goes and gets two goals! We just did not turn up that day. If Justin got us there, what would he done? It was hard to take, they hammered us, simple as that”
This was taken from just five minutes of a full hour long conversation between Eddie Scally & Dan Shanahan. Listen back to the full interview, which lasts over an hourm below or on your favourite podcast app.