Friday 23 June 2017

Maher retains captaincy as Tipp look for extra physicality

Brendan Maher has been confirmed as Tipperary hurling captain for a third successive season
Brendan Maher has been confirmed as Tipperary hurling captain for a third successive season

Jackie Cahill

Brendan Maher has been confirmed as Tipperary hurling captain for a third successive season.

The Borrisoleigh man will lead the Premier County into battle again next year, with Pádraic Maher retaining the role of vice-captain.

The news comes at a time when Brendan Maher looks set to revert to a midfield role for the 2016 season, having played at centre forward this year.

Manager Michael Ryan has also indicated that he is looking for greater emphasis on physicality as Tipp look to bounce back from a disappointing 2015.

Seamus Kennedy and Steven O'Brien have come on board from the football set-up and Ryan has also brought in Adrian Ryan from Templederry and Mullinahone's Sean Curran, both noted for their ball-winning abilities.

And Ryan told the Nenagh Guardian: "We were very deliberately going after guys who can compete physically and can do so quickly.

"With the modern players being incredibly athletic, there was an emphasis on more strength around the middle third as well as adding freshness and a new style to complement what we have already got."

Ryan has announced a panel of 40 players for winter training but despite this, Tipp will not be competing in the Munster Hurling League, a decision that he has defended.

Ryan said: "We are more than happy to take control of our own January.

"The league is so frantic with two games at the start before a two-week break. Then you have four games in a row so it doesn't give you much time to work with the players."

Tipperary SH panel - Goalkeepers: Darren Gleeson, Brian Hogan. Defenders: Cathal Barrett, James Barry, Conor O'Brien, Michael Cahill, Padraic Maher (vice-captain), Ronan Maher, Barry Heffernan, Michael Breen, Paddy Stapleton, John Meagher, Joe O'Dwyer, Liam Ryan, Seamus Kennedy, Tomas Hamill, Willie Ryan. Midfielders: Brendan Maher (captain), Kieran Bergin, Bill Maher, Daire Quinn, Joe Gallagher. Forwards: John O'Dwyer, Seamus Callanan, Niall O'Meara, Patrick Maher, Noel McGrath, Liam McGrath, John McGrath, Jason Forde, Gearoid Ryan, Adrian Ryan, Dan McCormack, Conor Kenny, Kieran Morris, Andrew Coffey, Sean Ryan, Sean Curran, Steven O'Brien, Dylan Fitzell.

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