Last weekend’s Tony Forristal Cup triumph by Waterford’s Under-14 hurlers, beating Kilkenny in the final to claim the Déise’s second cup in four years, might be viewed as mere chickenfeed by some, particularly in the two bedecked counties who will contest Sunday’s senior All-Ireland decider.

However, while achievement at juvenile level is no guarantee of anything, it’s definitely a better gauge than none when it comes to forecasting what the future might hopefully hold.

The future of Waterford hurling is something close to a lot of people’s hearts if the reaction to what was written here two weeks ago is anything to go by. The crossroads arrived at by the nature of the All-Ireland semi-final defeat by Tipperary pointed Waterford in only two real directions: one is destination unknown; the other Davy Fitzgerald and his vision for “developing” the game in this county.

So, what’s it to be? More of the same, or something different? That’s essentially the choice that faces the County Board, whose executives are due to make a recommendation regarding the reappointment or otherwise of the outgoing manager at next Monday’s meeting in Dungarvan.

Speculation has intensified over the past week that Fitzgerald may have been seeking some sort of ‘Director of Hurling’-style post with Waterford, which – if such rumours have any foundation – would see him effectively take charge of not just the seniors but possibly also the intermediates, under-21s and minors too, and possibly even include an influence at age levels below that. However, Croke Park, in what’s seen as a crackdown on ‘importing’ employees to run teams, has already forced Tipp football boss John Evans to relinquish his ‘directorship’.

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