Wednesday 21 February 2018

Barrett doubt for Tipp league opener

Michael Ryan explained that Cathal Barrett faces at least three weeks on the sidelines Photo: SPORTSFILE
Michael Ryan explained that Cathal Barrett faces at least three weeks on the sidelines Photo: SPORTSFILE

Michael Verney

Tipperary defender Cathal Barrett has emerged as a major doubt for their National Hurling League opener against Dublin on February 13 after suffering a recurrence of an ankle injury in training.

New boss Michael Ryan explained that the 2014 Young Hurler of the Year faces at least three weeks on the sidelines following a five-point challenge game win over neighbours Offaly on Sunday.

The Holycross-Ballycahill corner-back is not a long-term doubt, however, while Ryan has defended the Premier's decision to opt out of this year's Munster Senior Hurling League, instead venturing down the challenge game route.

"I am happy with it," Ryan said. "I've been saying it for quite a while, the run-in to the National League is hectic and the league itself is hectic so you just need a little bit of time to take stock.

"You're never going to get quality at this time of the year, all you're really looking for is application and progress and we're getting that from various quarters.

"We're happy enough with that and we're doing the work we want to do and ticking all the boxes we want to tick."

Ryan, who served as a selector under Eamonn O'Shea for three years, and during Liam Sheedy's 2010 All-Ireland win, stressed that little has changed under his regime.

"The pressure hasn't really started yet. The core of the squad has been together six or seven years and it's a pleasure to work with them," Ryan said.

"I've been there and that's the benefit of being involved before. These are the easy months, the pressure of results is off right now."

Irish Independent

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