'It's players' personal lives and families that are being hurt here' - Pádraic Maher on Tipperary rumours
Tipperary Hurling captain Pádraic Maher has condemned the rumours surrounding the personal lives of Tipperary players with the four-time All-Star labeling the speculation as 'ridiculous'.
Rumours surfaced last week of a bust-up at Tipperary training over a row concerning matters in the players' personal lives, with former Tipperary captain Nicky English dismissing the reports as rubbish, while Maher said that the rumours came as a shock to him and his Tipperary teammates.
“Don't ask me where it comes out of or who starts it, we were as much shocked as anyone else to see all of this,” Maher told gaa.ie on Wednesday.
“We're just going out there to try to represent Tipperary as best as we can and people writing this stuff about you...at the end of the day lads have personal lives, families, jobs to go to every day.
“What way is that affecting their lives? Look, it's not nice. People shouldn't have to deal with that in inter-county hurling or anywhere.
“It does affect some players. The stuff that was being said was ridiculous. It's players' personal lives and families that are being hurt here, not their hurling.
“When it comes to that, it's just ridiculous carry-on. Us as players, we're just moving forward, but the more you hear the more you wonder why are people even doing this?
“We just want to move forward as a squad now. We're just concentrating on the next game because it's a massive few weeks for us.
“We'll put everything else on the back-burner, because if we're going to let stuff that's not real affect us, then we're not going to be going anywhere.
“It's become laughable inside with us players, if anything it's given us a bit of a giggle, that kind of stuff brings you together and you just move on.
“At the end of the day our job is to represent the Tipperary jersey every day we go out and try to do it to the best of our ability. We're looking forward now to the challenge of the All-Ireland series, that's what we have to concentrate on.”
Last week's rumours were also accompanied by the revelation that 2014 Young Hurler of the Year Cathal Barrett had been dropped from the Tipperary panel.
The All-Star corner-back was axed by manager Michael Ryan for disciplinary reasons with the defender now facing an uncertain inter-county future.
Maher said that the squad have moved on from the 23-year-old's omission with the half-back insisting that his departure now presents a perfect opportunity for Tipperary to show their previously lauded squad depth.
“Look, Cathal is still a good friend of ours,” added Maher. “He could still be back, we don't know what the story is to be honest because it's a decision between player and manager.
“We respect the decision, he's not part of the panel at the moment, and we move on.
“Up to a couple of weeks ago people were lauding the back-up we have coming off the bench and the competitive nature within the squad.
“Now is the perfect opportunity for someone to step in and show they can take up his mantle.”