Pádraic Maher ready to soldier on for Tipperary cause

One of the county’s greatest defenders will rejoin Bonnar’s squad once fully fit

Pádraic Maher at the renamed FBD Semple Stadium.   The Tipp defender has won three senior All-Ireland medals and six All Star awards in a glorious career. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Pádraic Maher at the renamed FBD Semple Stadium. The Tipp defender has won three senior All-Ireland medals and six All Star awards in a glorious career. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Your Web Browser may be out of date. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11 our Audio player will not work properly.
For a better experience use Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

 

Pádraic Maher has insisted he still has more to offer the Tipperary hurlers but doesn’t expect to be in a position to do so until midway through the national league.

The three-time All-Ireland winner and former captain will turn 33 next month but is committed to returning to Premier County duty under new Tipp manager Colm Bonnar.

He hasn’t rejoined the panel yet though as he deals with an ongoing ankle issue “which will probably require surgery” following retirement and “a couple of small issues, nothing major” and doesn’t expect to feature in the early rounds of Tipp’s Division One, Group B campaign.

Time isn’t on Maher’s side as Tipp will cram five rounds of games into just seven weekends between February 5th and March 20th when activity begins.

“I’d be surprised if I’m going to be involved in the early stages of the league,” said Maher, speaking at the announcement that FBD Insurance have secured the naming rights for FBD Semple Stadium.

“Even if I do get myself right, I haven’t been training as much as the rest of them so I don’t think I’ll be available for selection for the first couple of rounds I’d imagine.

“I don’t know how the next few weeks will go but in fairness to the lads they just said, ‘Go get yourself right 100 per cent’. You don’t want to go into training, trying to contest and not being 100 per cent.

“I just want to be 100 per cent going in, knowing that I can give everything, that I can do all the training. I don’t want to be standing on the sideline or I don’t want to be pulled out of certain drills, or not doing certain things.

The future

“I want to do everything 100 per cent so please God in another two or three weeks, I’ll be able to go back in and go full pelt from there.”

Brendan Maher, almost exactly the same age and a close ally on Tipp teams since the late 2000s, retired last August.

The core of players that impressed during Tipperary’s All-Ireland under-21/under-20 wins in 2018 and 2019 are seen as the future though six-time All-Star Maher didn’t consider following his namesake into retirement.

“If I can get myself right physically and mentally, I can still offer something to the jersey,” he maintained.

“At the end of the day, you don’t want your career to just peter out. You’re not going to be hanging in there for the sake of hanging in there. I still feel if I’m right, I have something to offer the jersey. There’s a little bit of that and trying to help and guide the young lads in any way at all.”

Since capturing the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2019, Tipp have contested six championship games and lost four, leaving them well in Limerick’s slipstream.

“I don’t think we’re as far away as people say but we still have a lot of ground to make up and we have a lot of things to sort ourselves before we can be talking about beating any of those teams yet,” said Maher.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.