Wednesday 21 February 2018

Veteran Browne nearing return to Waterford fold

Tony Browne is back for Waterford.
Tony Browne is back for Waterford.
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Tony Browne is poised to extend his inter-county career into a 22nd year with Waterford and is eyeing a return to training as early as next week.

The signs are encouraging that Browne will make himself available once more in the coming days.

He met with Deise manager Michael Ryan three weeks ago, and agreement was reached for Browne to play a couple of league matches and make a final call on it.

Ryan has said in recent months that he would welcome back Browne, who will 40 this summer, and it is expected that they will talk again this weekend before a final decision to commit is made.

He is easily the longest serving inter-county GAA player, with a career stretching back to 1992 when he made his debut. Only Brendan Cummins, in his 20th season, comes close to matching Browne.

There had been speculation that Browne would retire in the days after John Mullane quit in January.

Ryan's Waterford have defied pessimistic pre-season predictions, with wins over Clare and Tipperary and a draw with Cork leaving them at the top of the Division 1A table.

The return of such an experienced player would be a further lift to a young squad.

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