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Ex-pro footballer Hutchinson holds advantage over Deise teammates

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

17:54 26 Nov 2020

Ahead of Saturday's All-Ireland semi-final against Kilkenny, Waterford hurler Stephen Bennett explained to Off The Ball how ex-professional footballer Dessie Hutchinson differs from some of his teammates. 

Formerly of Brighton & Hove Albion, Dessie Hutchinson's commitment to the Waterford hurling panel this year has had a positive impact on the Deise's season so far.

The scorer of 2-2 as Liam Cahill's side eased by Clare into Saturday's All-Ireland semi-final, Stephen Bennett revealed how the former underage Irish international soccer player differs from some of his teammates.

Bennett believes Hutchinson has been growing into the panel and that experience of a professional environment is benefitting the entire group.

"At the start," Bennett observed of Hutchinson, "it was his first year in, but he's really getting more vocal now, bringing a lot more to the setup.

"What I found was his running technique would be streets above a lot of us. I suppose if you are spending five years of training every day on the right technique. His first few yards are just brilliant.

"There is an awful lot in that where he can help and he is helping the other lads. The training he was doing [for football] has a load of advantages in hurling as well."

Impressive touch

Despite a prolonged absence from the game Hutchinson's touch has impressed Stephen Bennett.

"The funny thing is he came back after five or six years and you'd think the hurling would be gone but it's not. He's very skillful in fairness.

"It's just about using him the right amount, the first game or two we didn't actually hit much ball into the forward line.

"We weren't good enough out the field giving it in. We can see when we hit it in that he can cause trouble to anyone just like the rest of the inside forwards can."

While Hutchinson's running technique is "streets ahead" of the rest of the squad, Bennett told OTB about the help the panel have been getting.

"We actually have a running coach, but you see him [Hutchinson], everything the running coach is telling us, Dessie is doing already.

"He'd be telling us what we need to do and try to change but you can see Dessie's running technique would be that much above us.

"So, you can work off him, if a fella is talking to you about it [it may be unclear] but then with Dessie, you just do what he does.

Poor running technique

Derval O'Rourke had previously observed on Off The Ball that a number of professional athletes she observed have very poor running techniques.

The running coach the Waterford hurlers use had similar findings with Bennett.

"He told me that I run badly. Not bad, just different from how you should run fast. My technique isn't right, but when you are doing it for 25 years, you're just running, aren't you? It's hard being told you need to change this and that.

"We are working on it, just trying to improve so that at 90 percent you can go with it and get up and down the field.

"So you are not just running straight away and collapsing after 20 yards, improving how we can run at 80 or 90 percent for longer distances."

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Dessie Hutchinson GAA Liam McCarthy Cup Munster Hurling Championship Stephen Bennett Waterford Hurling Waterford United

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