Carlow footballers must plan without their most enduring talisman after Paul Broderick called time on his inter-county career.
The Tinryland clubman, 34, created his own historic niche three years ago when he became the first Carlow player to be nominated for an All-Star since Colm Hayden in 1994.
And he has been joined in retirement by Shane Redmond, the long-serving Carlow full-back.
Broderick was the prolific apex of a team noted, under Turlough O’Brien, for its defensive obduracy and tactic of hitting teams on the counter.
But even by then he was in the veteran stages, having overcome a multitude of serious injuries and operations to be making waves in his early 30s.
Carlow reached a Leinster semi-final in 2018, when Broderick’s scoring contributions were pivotal to their victories over Louth (when he amassed 1-8, 1-3 from play) and most famously Kildare (when he tallied 0-11, including nine frees).
Even though the Barrowsiders subsequently lost to Laois and then Tyrone in the qualifiers, their chief marksman had shown enough to earn that elusive All-Star nomination.
The left-footer’s Carlow swansong came in this year’s straight knockout Leinster SFC last June, when he came off the bench and shot 0-4 (3f) in defeat to Longford.
The Carlow Nationalist first reported on the retirements of Broderick and Redmond, and the Gaelic Players Association has now wished the Tinryland duo well as they step away from the inter-county game.
A statement released through the GPA has now confirmed that current Carlow boss Niall Carew must plan without the player in 2022.
“Paul was a key member for the 2018 ‘Carlow Rising’ when the Dolmen County enjoyed one of their most successful summers of football in recent times,” a GPA statement recounted.
“In the National League, Carlow won promotion from Division 4 for the first time in three decades. They then went on to reach the Leinster football semi-final, memorably defeating a strong Kildare team on their way, their first win over the Lilywhites in 65 years.
“Paul was immense that day, kicking 11 points. His performances throughout 2018 saw him receive a deserved nomination for an All-Star.
“Paul was also twice named PwC GAA/GPA Player of the Month (May 2017, May 2018). Congrats Paul, and best wishes,” the statement concluded.
In a follow-up statement, the GPA added: “Shane made his debut in 2008 and hangs up his boots after an outstanding 14 seasons of service.
“Shane was a key defensive cog in the Barrowsiders' Army in that successful 2018 season and has been one of the unsung heroes at full-back for the past decade.”