Maher determined to lead Premier men into bright new era
NEWLY-appointed Tipperary senior hurling captain Brendan Maher has called on his team-mates to kick-start a new era for the Premier County.
Maher (24) was confirmed in the role on Monday night, with Noel McGrath from county senior champions Loughmore-Castleiney elected as vice-captain for the 2014 campaign.
Both players are minor, U-21 and senior All-Ireland medallists, with Maher lifting The Irish Press Cup as captain of the All-Ireland minor-winning team in 2007.
"This is the highest that you can get as regards having a role in a team like this," he said.
"It's something that I've always dreamed of doing and I'm delighted and honoured. I can't wait to get back on the pitch and, hopefully, my actions on the field are as strong as what I have to say."
Despite Tipp's premature exit from the 2013 championship, Maher was one of the team's better players against Limerick and Kilkenny, and the Borrisoleigh clubman has been earmarked for the captaincy for some time.
"Tipp have seen some great leaders over the years – the likes of Brendan (Cummins) and Declan Fanning in recent times – and I hope I can live up to the job like they did. We're still young – I'm only 24 – but we are around long enough to know that we need to start something new. I can't wait to get back training together and get a buzz going again."
Maher believes that Tipp will be fuelled by renewed hunger and motivation following a disappointing 2013 season.
"It's the earliest since I've been involved that we were knocked out," he said. "It was a very tough summer to get through, but I was one of the lucky ones as my club got to the business end of the county championship (semi-finals)."