Tuesday 12 December 2017

Barrett 'will do whatever it takes' to find way back into Tipperary fold

Tipperary's Cathal Barrett. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Tipperary's Cathal Barrett. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Jackie Cahill

Cathal Barrett will do "whatever it takes" to regain his place on the Tipperary senior hurling panel.

That's the view of his club's chairman Tom O'Dwyer after the Holycross-Ballycahill player was dropped from the county set-up for disciplinary reasons. Barrett (23) faces an uncertain inter-county future, in the short-term at least, as he comes to terms with the Tipp manager Michael Ryan's decision to let him go.

A Tipperary County Board statement issued late on Tuesday confirmed the bombshell news, not long after Ryan met with his players in Thurles to discuss the fallout from the recent Munster SHC quarter-final defeat to Cork.

Sources close to Barrett indicated that the 2014 Young Hurler of the Year is extremely upset by Ryan's decision - but is now determined to knuckle down and try to regain a squad place.

Barrett sustained a serious knee injury in the Cork game and hobbled off the pitch with what was initially feared to be cruciate knee ligament damage. Scans later revealed a grade 2 medial ligament strain, with Barrett facing at least another six weeks on the sidelines.

progress That would have ruled him out of Tipperary's opening All-Ireland SHC qualifier on July 1 in any event - but it's unclear whether or not Barrett will return at all this summer if the Premier County progress through the back door.

O'Dwyer insisted that Barrett's primary focus is on his recovery. "Cathal will do whatever it takes to regain his place on the county panel, and to help Tipp regain the Liam MacCarthy Cup," he said.

"Michael, his management team and the players have set very high standards over the last number of years and because of those standards, we're the current champions. As Tipperary people, and Cathal included, we accept that if we don't maintain those standards, we won't be champions in 2017.

"I'm not privy to the decision that has been made, that's a matter between Cathal and the management team, but he has a serious knee injury that he's rehabbing at the moment.

"Our concern from a Holycross point of view is that Cathal is fit as soon as possible for the upcoming Mid championship and the county championship. That's his first priority, to get fit."

Tipperary's players didn't train on Tuesday but are expected to get together again over the weekend. Ryan is monitoring a number of injury concerns ahead of the back-door assault, but Donagh Maher came through a club game for Burgess unscathed last weekend, while fellow corner-back Michael Cahill is due to resume training imminently following a hamstring injury.

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