Michael Walsh (Waterford hurler)
|Irish name||Mícheál Breathnach|
|Football Position:||Full Forward|
|Hurling Position:||Centre Back|
23 April 1983 |
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
Walsh began his inter-county career as a Gaelic footballer with Waterford, however, after two seasons as a dual player he decided to concentrate on hurling. He has won three Munster winners' medals, two National League winners' medals and thee All-Star awards. He ended up as an All-Ireland runner-up on one occasion.
Michael Walsh was born in Stradbally, County Waterford in 1983. He acquired the nickname "Brick" in school, and claims it does not refer to size or strength: "It certainly wasn't given to me because I was mightily strong or anything like that. It was a nickname I seemed to pick up in school and for a while people just thought it was a double-barrel family name, but it's after sticking with me now in a big way, and at this stage I just accept it." When playing for Stradbally's underage football and hurling teams, he was generally their best player on the pitch, usually scoring more than the rest of his team combined in each game. He was educated locally and later attended Waterford Institute of Technology where he studied Business and Finance. He completed his MA in 2006. While studying here Walsh's hurling skills came to the fore, particularly when he played a key role in the college winning Fitzgibbon Cup titles in 2003, 2004 and 2006.
Walsh plays his club hurling and football with his local Stradbally team. He has had much success with the club's football team, winning senior county championship medals in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2010. In 2006 Walsh's side were defeated by The Nire in their attempt to win a sixth county title in-a-row. He has twice won the county Waterford footballer of the year award.
Walsh first made his mark as a Gaelic footballer with Waterford at minor and under-21 levels. In 2003 he helped his native county defeat both Cork and Kerry to win the Munster Under-21 Football Championship before losing to Dublin in the all-Ireland semi-final.
In 2003 Walsh made his debut with the Waterford senior hurling team, coming on as a substitute, replacing Tony Browne against Kerry in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship. In 2004, he claimed a Munster title, however, his side was defeated by Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final. The following two years brought little success for Walsh and Waterford. In 2005 and 2006, Waterford reached the All-Ireland knock-out series via the qualifier system, but were beaten on both occasions by Cork.
In 2007 Walsh captained Waterford to their first National Hurling League title since 1963 and a third Munster Senior Hurling Championship in five years. Walsh won his first all-star award in 2007 at midfield.
He was reappointed Waterford captain for 2008, the first time the same person had captained the team in two consecutive years. While playing poorly throughout the National Hurling League and being knocked out of the Munster Hurling Championship in the first round, Waterford would later progress to their first All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final since 1963. The day would turn out to be disappointing for Walsh, with Waterford losing resoundingly to a Kilkenny team securing its first three-in-a-row since 1917.
From 2008 to 2014, Walsh played at number 6 and was recognised as one of the best centre-backs in the country, winning further all-star awards in that position in 2009 and 2010 and a third Munster title in 2010. In 2015, Walsh was moved to a forward position and secured his second National Hurling League medal, scoring 0-2 in a ten-point final victory over Cork.
- "Rock-solid 'Brick' at heart of McGrath's Waterford wall". Irish Independent. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
|Waterford Senior Hurling Captain
|Waterford Senior Hurling Captain