Sports Digest GAA: Shock as Lar Corbett quits Tipperary hurling team
A look at top stories in GAA this week
Tiperary hurling has been rocked by the news that star striker Lar Corbett has quit the inter-county scene at the age of 30.
Corbett told manager Declan Ryan in person of his decision on Monday, then texted his teammates to inform them that he won’t be joining the county squad for the 2010 season.
The 2010 Hurler of the Year has stated that business commitments at his new pub in Thurles don’t allow him to give the necessary time and commitment to the sport for the year ahead.
He texted his teammates, “Well lads, I’m sorry to say that I have withdrawn from the Tipp panel. I know this may come as a shock but, after careful consideration, I know that I cannot give the 100% commitment that is required.
“I did not want to give this news by text but I could not ring everyone. I hope my decision will not affect the friendships I have made over the years.
“This decision was one of the hardest yet. I do not have all of the panel members’ numbers so can you please pass on as I want you, the players, to be the first to know. I look forward to the second Sunday in September when I will be shouting on the players and the team I love. Larry.”
The Tipperary County Board, in a statement, have thanked Corbett for his contribution to the team and told him he is welcome back at any stage.
The statement said, “The Tipperary senior hurling management regrets that Lar Corbett has informed us of his withdrawal from the Tipperary senior hurling panel due to work and business commitments.
“Lar’s importance and value to the Tipperary senior hurling team is immeasurable and the door will remain open to him for a return to the panel if those work pressures ease.”
Corbett has won two All-Ireland medals and three all-star awards in a glittering career with the Premier County.
The hurling world has reacted with shock to the news. Clare boss Davy Fitzgerald said, “Lar has been a thorn in my side for many years, particularly since I’ve been a manager but I don’t think it’s his tine to retire yet -- he’s still in his prime.
“It would be a blow to Tipp if he retires and it’s a blow to hurling too because the game needs his flair. I’m sure he has his reasons for going, but I’d hope he’ll change his mind in a few months’ time.”
Former Clare boss Tony Considine said, “I’m in complete shock. This came straight out of the blue and I think he’s going to be a massive loss to Tipperary.
“I thought Lar definitely had another couple of years left in him at the top. But obviously he has other commitments that have to take priority.”
However Tipp legend Babs Keating told the Irish Sun, “This doesn’t surprise me at all, Lar Corbett has been up and down for the last ten years with his form.
“Maybe Tipp have left the door open but I can’t see him coming back to the Tipp jersey at this stage.”
DUBLIN boss Pat Gilroy has warned his team they must work on their discipline after Eamon Fennell was sent off in Saturday night’s 1-14 to 0-11 defeat to Kerry in the NFL opener at Croke Park.
Gilroy said, “It’s an area that we clearly have to be a lot better in. It’s just not on, whatever chance you have with 15 men, if you are down to 14 you are going to be in big trouble.
“It’s something that we have to work on. I didn’t see the incident but the referee was right beside it so I’m sure it must have been a sending off, I just didn’t see it.
“It’s a ridiculous thing for us to do, we can’t afford to be doing it.”
Gilroy is worried about the injury picked up by Michael Fitzsimons against Kerry, but Paul Brogan (knee) should be fine.
The Dubs boss said, “Michael had a problem with that shoulder before Christmas and it just started to flare up in the second half.
“Paul’s is probably okay, it was just a bang, but Michael’s could be a bit more serious.”
All-Ireland champions Dublin were brought back to earth with a bang by Kerry on Saturday night.
Gilroy said, “We realize now we have plenty of work to do, there is no question Kerry were the better team and we have got to make that ground up.”
Kerry hit 17 wides and boss Jack O’Connor admitted, “Obviously we need to sharpen up because we kicked a ridiculous amount of wides.
“You hate to keep losing to the same opposition, especially by the margins of the losses which were by a point each time. It’s always great for the confidence when you get a win up here.”
POOR finishing cost Kildare as they lost their NFL opener against Tyrone in Croke Park on Saturday night (2-11 to 0-12) as manager Kieran McGeeney acknowledged.
McGeeney told RTE, “I’m disappointed that we didn’t take our scoring opportunities because ultimately that is going to kill you.
“As I said before, we are one of the highest scoring forward teams in the country. But today we had so many chances and didn’t put them away. You would hope that they are going to turn that. We need to.”
Tyrone boss Mickey Harte said, “It is too early to say we are ahead of ourselves. We won the McKenna Cup and we were glad to do that.
“People say the standard rises when you go to the National League and there is no doubt that is the case.
“But again one swallow does not make a summer. We could have been beaten just as handy but for us getting the breaks at the right time to give us a foothold in the game.
“We owed ourselves this win. The last few years we have been poor in a first few games. We lost the first two last year and the year before.”
KILKENNY boss Brian Cody has warned the GAA against adopting any payment scheme for managers.
Cody told RTE, “No way should managers be paid at all. In the GAA? Absolutely not. It would be a disaster.
“A few years ago we had big discussions about players being paid. The GPA tested the waters and it was looked upon as a massive threat to the association.
“The people who were hoping for it to happen realized and accept now that it just can’t happen. That it’s impossible to have professionalism in our association. It couldn’t be sustained.
“For whatever reason now, and I don’t understand it, suddenly talking about paying managers as if this is the correct way to do the thing. If that were to happen, all that would happen is it would resurrect again the potential for players and everyone else being paid.
“I choose to do this. It’s not a sacrifice. It’s a choice I made. It’s not even remotely a sacrifice. It’s the same with players.
“I don’t feel sorry for inter-county players. I envy inter-county players. Because I know in Kilkenny, they’re beating down the door to get into the dressing room. They would crawl to training if they thought they could get onto the county panel. No way should we be paid.”
MEATH boss Seamus McEnaney was delighted after his team beat former side Monaghan in the NFL opener on Saturday night by a score of 1-15 to 0-9.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the result and the performance,” said McEnaney. “It always means a lot to me when the group of players I am managing show a lot of pride in wearing the jersey and Meath gave us that tonight.
“They worked tremendously hard, scored 1-15, which is a very good score for the month of February. We took a lot of stick before today and some of it was deserved.
“I have a serious respect for Monaghan, I was with them for six years but tonight my loyalties lay firmly in the Meath dressing-room.”
PADRAIG Joyce is to play on with the Galway senior football team for a 15th season after overcoming a serious Achilles injury.” The injury cleared up before Christmas. It had been giving me trouble, but I’ve been doing plenty of rehab and training on my own,” Joyce said . . .
CORK’S management are to consider an appeal against the red card handed out to captain Paul Kerrigan in Sunday’s NFL draw against Armagh.
Boss Conor Counihan said, “I did see what happened and in may view it wasn’t a sending off. Obviously, others will have a more objective view than me, but what I saw didn’t warrant a red card,” . . .
WATERFORD hurling star John Mullane is the latest big name to consider taking a break from the game according to reports in Tuesday’s Irish Examiner. The paper states that Mullane has yet to state when he will return to action . . .
LIMERICK defender Seamus Hickey will miss the NHL campaign after moving to the U.S. for three months . . .
DERRY have won their appeal against James Conway’s red card against Tyrone in the Dr. McKenna Cup . . .
MICHAEL ‘Brick’ Walsh has been named as the Waterford hurling captain for 2012.
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