Ballygunner’s Pauric Mahony has been appointed as captain of the Waterford Senior Hurling team in 2020, taking over from Noel Connors who was informed earlier this year that he would not be part of Liam Cahill’s side in 2020.
The Ballygunner club man is one of the longest serving members of the current Waterford panel making his debut back in 2011 during Davy Fitzgerald’s last year in charge of Waterford. Since then he has lined out under Michael Ryan, Derek McGrath and Pauric Fanning, in which time he helped the county win the National League title as a Division 1B side in 2015 and was part of a Waterford side beaten in the 2017 All-Ireland Final against Galway.
Mahony was part of the Ballygunner side that has won the last six county Senior Hurling titles and the Munster Club final in 2018. In 2015 he suffered a serious leg injury while playing for Ballygunner against Ballyduff Upper in a championship match in Fraher Field, coming back to be a central player for both club and county after a period out of the game as a result of that injury.
Meanwhile Conor Prunty will be the vice captain in 2020 suggesting that he will be central to Liam Cahill’s plans in 2020, possibly playing at full-back.
The Abbeyside man is part of the Waterford panel since 2017 when he was brought in by Derek McGrath but a ruptured quad muscle in the opening weeks of the year saw his chances of staking a place in the team all but evaporate.
The Abbeyside man made his championship debut in 2019 playing in the number three shirt against Clare, but the side which weeks earlier had contested the league final lost that game by a point and subsequently suffered losses to Tipperary, Limerick and Cork.
After playing a pivotal role in helping Rathgormack in winning a first county Senior Football Championship in 20 years and in doing so breaking up the dominance of Stradbally, The Nire and Ballinacourty, Conor Murray was named recently as the captain of the Waterford Senior Football team for 2020.
When Benji Whelan side runs out at Fraher Field in the first round of the National League on January 25 against Limerick the Rathgormack man will be leading out a much-changed side.
A number of players used in 2019 have decided to make themselves not available for selection for most or all of the year including Tadhg Ó hUallachain, Shane Ahearne, Tommy Prendergast, Shane Ryan, Sean Whelan-Barrett, Dessie Hutchinson and Jack Mullaney.
Into the side come a number of players who will be hoping to make an impact in training and to stake a place in the team for the championship.
Rathgormack’s Robbie Flynn, James Beresford, Colligan’s Dan Booth and Reece Stringer, Darach Ó Cathasaigh from An Rinn, Ciaran Keating from Ardmore and the Gaultier trio of Davy Daniels, Aaron Jones and Niall McSweeney are amongst the new names brought in by the Kilmacthomas man and his management team for this year’s National League. There are hopes however that some of the more established players will be back in the side for the Championship in May.