Monday 19 March 2018

Cahill looking forward to Barrett resurrecting his Tipp career

Tipperary's Michael Cahill. Photo: Sportsfile
Tipperary's Michael Cahill. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Tipperary defender Michael Cahill would love to see Cathal Barrett return to the squad after he was dropped following the Munster Championship defeat to Cork for a disciplinary issue.

Cahill, speaking at yesterday's AIG Fenway Hurling Classic launch in Croke Park, acknowledged Barrett's defensive qualities and feels he can make the most of any prospective recall.

"I don't know what the situation is myself but absolutely, Cathal is probably one of the best corner-backs in the country and you always want to see your best hurlers playing," said the Thurles Sarsfields man.

"I have no doubt that he will get the chance again. It's up to Cathal then to do whatever he does with the chance. But it would be great to see one of our top players back playing."

Cahill admitted that rumours which circulated locally about the squad in 2017 weren't "helpful".

"It was a tough year from a panel point of view. That stuff doesn't help when you are trying to prepare for your season and you have this kind of nonsense going on in the background and people driving on these rumours.

"That is never going to stand to any team. As much as you put it to the back of your head, some of it could creep in. It doesn't help that the whole thing gets drummed up then. Whatever it is about Tipperary, rumours seem to fly and this and that goes on."

Cahill admitted he was disappointed to hear long-serving kit man John 'Hotpoint' Hayes was no longer required.

"We owe him so much, and it's disappointing from a player's point of view to see him go. Changes happen in hurling and we just have to focus on what's ahead of us. It's nothing to do with us as players."

Cahill has admitted last year's Munster club semi-final defeat to Ballyea was the toughest they've had to endure as their failure to capitalise on a golden spell in Tipperary continues.

Thurles have now won four in a row in Tipp but have not been able to progress in Munster, something that grates with them. Their only Munster Championship win came in 2012, this despite winning seven of the last nine Tipperary titles.

They were cruising in Ennis against a Ballyea side which had won its first Clare title only seven days earlier but were caught by a resurgent Tony Kelly.

"It was probably one of the lowest points we had as a club team. Munster hasn't been good to us over the last couple of years. We're just finding it hard to get through those games, Ballyea last year they really just caught us at the finish."

Other factors, he admitted, have militated against them. In 2014, they had Denis Maher sent off in the early stages of their game against Cratloe while prior to their 2015 defeat to Na Piarsaigh they were plunged into grief by the death of selector Jack Griffin.

"We've had our fair degree of misfortune for different reasons, personal reasons, once we got to this stage over the last few years. A bereavement the year we played Na Piarsaigh, just before we played them. That hit lads for six," he admitted. "Denis getting sent off almost before the game had started against Cratloe. You really have to have everything going for you because the way I see it they are the toughest games. The hardest part is winning Munster. You are playing the best teams in the country."

Cahill has acknowledged the impact Tipp's 2010 All-Ireland-winning captain, Eoin Kelly, has had since joining the backroom team.

Irish Independent

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