Monday 5 December 2016

Carroll calls time on Offaly career after 14 seasons of 'wonderful memories'

Published 05/01/2016 | 02:30

Offaly hurler Brian Carroll is calling it a day. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Offaly hurler Brian Carroll is calling it a day. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

Long-serving Offaly hurler Brian Carroll has ended speculation regarding his future by announcing his retirement from the inter-county scene.

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Speculation had been mounting that the Coolderry man would call time on a career that stretches back to 2002 and in a statement yesterday, Carroll confirmed he would not be making himself available to incoming Faithful manager Eamonn Kelly.

"It is with both satisfaction and sadness that I announce my retirement from inter-county hurling," read Carroll's statement.

"For the past 14 seasons I have been privileged to play for Offaly and got to fulfil my boyhood dream of captaining my county in 2010, playing in a Leinster final in Croke Park in 2004 and, probably most importantly for me, the general buzz of playing inter-county hurling with and against the best in the country."

Son of Offaly great Pat, Carroll established himself as a star underage player with St Kieran's College Kilkenny and he went on to play 131 times for his county, notching 5-191 in Championship action.

Apart from a pair of Division 2 league medals, silverware eluded him with Offaly, though he did manage four Railway Cup medals and two All-Star nominations.

His last game for the county came in their Championship defeat at the hands of Clare last summer.

"Although I have had little success during my inter-county career in terms of silverware, I am most grateful for the career I have had and leave the game with wonderful memories, and I know that I always strived to be the best and beat the best.

"While these have been lean years for Offaly supporters, we as players have always been grateful for the continued support you show to our teams."

"I wish the management and players continued success for the coming years and we long for the return of Offaly hurling and football to greater days.

"Finally, hurling is and always will be part of who I am and I now look forward to continue to play with my club Coolderry and supporting Offaly hurling teams for many years to come."

Elsewhere, Brian Malone has been named as captain of the Wexford footballers for the coming year.

Malone led David Power's side in last Sunday's draw at home to Dublin and he will lead the Model men in their attempts to gain promotion from Division 4 later this year. And Power agrees that emerging from the bottom tier is their primary target.

"Promotion is the main thing but it's over seven games," he said.

"If we can get a level of performance like (the one against Dublin) every day we should be winning a lot of games down in Division 4."

Also in Wexford, the GAA community in Enniscorthy and beyond is in mourning following the death of the legendary Ted Bolger, who passed away on New Year's Eve. The St Aidan's clubman won back-to-back All-Irelands in 1955 and '56.

Irish Independent

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