Forde: I was thinking he was going to tell me that I was dropped
Jason Forde has opened up about his intentions to possibly walk away from the Tipperary hurling squad after being brought on and taken back off in last year's All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Galway.
Despite their early Munster SHC exit, the Silvermines attacker was in sensational scoring form for the Premier throughout league and championship this season but admitted that he had a lot of "soul-searching" to do over the winter.
"It's poles apart from where I was last year, I was barely making the team. I got brought on and taken off in the All-Ireland semi-final, it's one of the most embarrassing things that can happen a player," Forde said on sportstalk.ie's Super 8s Podcast.
"I'd a lot of soul searching to do over the winter, even in terms of whether I was going to come back or not, I had to make a big decision whether I was or I wasn't. But I came back and took it game by game, made the most if it and really enjoyed it.
"I definitely had serious motivation this year. I did some soul-searching, bounced off a few people, took a bit of a break and decided when I went back that I was going to give it everything."
However, when called to a meeting by Premier boss Michael Ryan, he feared the worst.
"He texted me to meet the management around November in Nenagh, he hadn't done that other years so I was kind of thinking, 'Jesus, is he going to tell me I'm gone like?' This is it, I mightn't have to make a decision on whether I'm going back or not.
"We had a very honest meeting and he laid out what he thought I needed to improve on and a few different things and I kind of hopped the ball and gave a few things back that I thought from my own point of view.
"It probably steamrolled from there. They put the confidence and faith in me when the league started and they saw the work that had gone into it."
Forde decided something different was needed and worked with a personal trainer over the winter while also spending time rehabbing his troubled hamstrings. And as Tipp face a long summer of contemplation, he has no attention of abandoning his club and ruled out a trip Stateside despite some offers.
"There were feelers put out to see would I come out to America but I just felt that just having my best season with Tipp, to go away to America and leaving the club high and dry wouldn't be something I'm willing to do," the 24-year-old explained.