McGrath ponders over Gleeson position

February 07, 2018

Tipperary's Brendan Maher and Austin Gleeson of Waterford.
©INPHO/Cathal Noonan.

Is Austin Gleeson better used in defence or in the forwards? This is a question that many GAA pundits have discussed in depth and even Waterford manager Derek McGrath is unsure of how to best utilise one of his star players.

Gleeson lined out at centre back in the defeat to Tipperary last weekend, and was one of the Deise's best performers until he was forced off with a quad injury.

The Mount Sion clubman may have worn the number six jersey all through last year's campaign, but he was deployed in the half forward line for all of the year.

And McGrath admitted to the Waterford News & Star that it was a difficult issue to deal with as Gleeson revels wherever he is played.

"We feel that we have the best centre back in the country in Tadgh de Burca. It's certainly an option. You go back to our second year in charge and we had a half back line of Austin at five, Tadgh at six and Philip O'Mahony at seven," said McGrath.

"Obviously Darragh (Fives) came into the equation. Look, we probably have four natural half backs. The other thing that has to be weighed up is the scoring average of Austin when he's in the forwards. He got 27 points for us last year.

"You need that as well. It's a balancing act which we probably consider more than most people."

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