Monday 18 December 2017

Curran axed as O'Shea trims his Tipperary squad

Tipperary manager Eamon O'Shea
Tipperary manager Eamon O'Shea

Jackie Cahill

Tipperary manager Eamon O'Shea has trimmed a number of players, including 2010 All-Ireland SHC winner, Paul Curran, from his squad ahead of the championship.

Curran, 33, lined out at corner-back in the recent Allianz Hurling League Division 1 semi-final defeat against Waterford at Nowlan Park but his long inter-county career now appears to be at an end.

Curran made his senior debut in 2001 against Cork in the league before going on to enjoy a successful pilgrimage in the blue and gold. The Mullinahone stalwart underwent hip surgery ahead of the 2014 season but he showed remarkable resolve to return to O'Shea's squad last year, before playing a part in the 2015 league campaign.

Curran is also a two-time National League medallist and he won five Munster senior championships, including as captain of the 2012 winning team.

O'Shea has settled on a core group of 26 players for pre-championship preparations but the squad remains very much open-ended. It is understood that O'Shea will reveal a 30-man panel in the first week in early June, ahead of the Munster semi-final with Clare or Limerick on June 21.

Four slots are essentially still up for grabs, and possibly more depending on injuries, and O'Shea will run the rule over a number of candidates in forthcoming challenge games, with Tipp facing Dublin on May 17 in Drombane.

Other fringe players such as Tom Stapleton, Shane Bourke, David Butler, Micheal Butler, Bill Maher, Sean Maher, Stephen Maher, Joe O'Dwyer and Liam Treacy have been omitted at the present time.

Bill Maher, a member of the Tipperary U-21 football team preparing for Saturday's All-Ireland final against Tyrone, and Sean Maher are free to concentrate on U-21 hurling commitments but the former could yet force himself back into the senior reckoning.

O'Dwyer and Treacy have been hit by injury this year while Treacy's Loughmore-Castleiney clubmate Liam McGrath, Tipp's All-Ireland MFC-winning captain in 2011, has stepped away from the squad in a bid to regain full fitness.

Irish Independent

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