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Ronan Maher.

Ronan Maher.

Ronan Maher continues to relish Tipperary challenge


ByCianO'Connell


RonanMaherbelievesthefutureisbrightforTipperary.

ThegiftedThurlesSarsfieldsclubmanisadamantthatacropofnewtalentisgettingreadytodeliverforthePremierCountyatthehighestlevel.

TipperaryclaimedMunsterminorgloryin2015and2016,whilewinninganAllIrelandminortitlein2016.

MaherisexcitedaboutthepotentialwithinMichaelRyan’spanelandTipperaryhavehandedfourstartingdebutsintheiropeningtwoAllianzHurlingLeaguefixtures.

NextSaturdayevening'sSempleStadiumencounteragainstWexfordoffersanotheropportunityforTipperarytoauditionaheadoftheMunsterChampionship.

“Thereisabigpushandtheyoungerladsarechallengingforpositionsintrainingandtheyarereally,reallycompetitive,”Maheradmits.

“WehaveagoodfewladswhoareaftercomingupfromUnder21,theyhavehugenaturalskillandtheyarejustpushingladsintraining.Isupposeithasbroughtabigfreshnesstotheladsthathavebeenthereforawhile,theyarebringingnewstuff,especiallypushingtheolderplayerson.

“Theyarealsovery,verytalentedandtheyaregoingtobethereorthereaboutsinChampionship.Weneedallofthoseplayersbecausetherewillbealotofgames.Theseyoungerladswillloveallthosegamesandthechallengesahead.”

AnewChampionshipformatensuresthedepthofeverypanelwillbeexaminedwithfourmatchesinquicksuccession.“Yeah,exactly,ladsaregettingachancetoprovethemselvesintheLeague,”Mahersays.

“You are going to need all of them players, you will need your full panel for the Championship. It is nice going to smooth, there will be injuries here and there, we have suffered a few in the League ourselves.

“That is a chance for somebody to prove themselves at the weekend, to try to nail down the jersey.”

Maher is ‘looking forward’ to what promises to be a fascinating summer of hurling action. “There is an awful lot of talk about the new structure; just as players and as young lads all we want to do is to play games,” Maher states.

“The thing that is standing out is there will be more games and less training, that is something we are looking forward to. It will all be a learning experience, the first year.

“We will adapt then after that, I think this year teams will just try to adjust training sessions, but they won't really know until after this year.

“We are looking forward to it and at the moment we are happy with the new structure. There is nothing much that bothers us, once we are getting a lot of games we don't really mind.

“It is very interesting, teams are back a while now, they started back before Christmas. They are trying to get their pre-season in a lot earlier, that is the only adjustment, training earlier, getting fit for the League.

“A lot of teams were naturally enough going back earlier to do their bit individually. You are just going to have to adjust, with games week on week, you are going to have to recover as quick as you can, the morning and the night after to be ready for the weekend. That is all you can do, to focus for the week at training.”

Maher is certainly primed for another busy stint in the fabled blue and gold jersey.

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