Maher tells talented Tipp team-mates to start fulfilling their potential
Published 20/12/2013 | 02:30
PADRAIC Maher has made a blunt admission that Tipperary's senior hurlers are not fulfilling their potential.
Maher (above) was 21 when Tipp stormed to All-Ireland senior and U-21 glory in 2010.
He captained that U-21 side to victory on a memorable Saturday evening in Thurles and a fresh period of dominance was predicted for Tipperary.
But the premier hurlers have struggled to build on that promise and in the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final against Kilkenny, they suffered their biggest senior championship defeat since the 1800s.
Last summer they were out of the championship after just two games -- losing to Limerick in Munster before exiting the All-Ireland series, again at the hands of Kilkenny.
"To be honest, we haven't really fulfilled that potential in the last few years," says Maher.
"If you'd asked me back in 2010, when I was lifting that (U-21) trophy below in Semple Stadium and after winning the senior, that we would not win another All-Ireland, I'd have been very disappointed.
"You can see we're not fulfilling our potential. I'm five years on the panel and we are underachieving in my book at the moment.
"But we have very good management and back-room teams in place. They're doing everything they can for us. It's up to us players to put the heads down."
Tipp coughed up their Munster title at the semi-final stage against current provincial kingpins Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds last June. But Tipp have the chance to exact revenge when the counties meet at Semple Stadium on June 1 next year.
Maher reflects: "They did turn us over, thoroughly deserved it on the day, no doubt about it. They're Munster champions now as well.
"You have to look forward to that game, especially at home in Thurles. It's a great opportunity for us to start turning things around."