Monday 5 December 2016

Switching skippers will 'freshen up' Tipp, insists Maher

Jackie Cahill

Published 29/11/2016 | 02:30

Maher “I’m fully supportive of the decision it gives everybody a different edge now and freshens it up, with a new captain and vicecaptain.
Maher “I’m fully supportive of the decision it gives everybody a different edge now and freshens it up, with a new captain and vicecaptain." Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Brendan Maher is "fully supportive" of the decision to pass on the captaincy of the Tipperary hurling team to namesake Pádraic.

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During his three seasons as skipper, Borris-Ileigh clubman Maher enjoyed a huge amount of success, lifting Munster titles in 2015 and 2016, and the Liam MacCarthy Cup in September.

But he believes that having Thurles Sarsfields colossus Pádraic taking over will bring a freshness to the set-up as Tipp aim to retain their provincial and national titles.

Brendan Maher (27) said: "I'm delighted with my time as captain. I had three years, which is more than a lot of lads have had.

"It was an honour to captain Tipp and special to finish up in the role as I did, achieving my dream of captaining an All-Ireland winning senior team.

"There's no better man to pass it on to. He has previous experience, having captained the U21s in 2010. He's captained his club as well and has a great record.

"He has all the credentials that are needed and he doesn't need to do anything differently to what he normally does. It won't be a burden to him.

"I'm fully supportive of the decision it gives everybody a different edge now and freshens it up, with a new captain and vice-captain (Seamus Callanan).

"It gives me another boost to go at it again, I'm very motivated to go out and perform and nail down a place again. Change is good, and this is really freshening up the thing."

Maher admits that it took him a while to adjust to the role of captain, after he assumed the responsibility in 2014.

He reflected: "I definitely would understand if somebody was to say that it can be a burden.

"There's a lot of extra stuff that goes with it, all sorts you have to do but I tried to learn as much as possible from previous captains and spoke to Eoin (Kelly) and Paul (Curran).

"I was living with Shane McGrath when I was named as captain and Shane was the outgoing captain from 2013. He spoke to me very openly about stuff he struggled with and found a burden.

"I learned so much in the first 12 months, in 2014, and I found myself becoming a lot more relaxed in the role."

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