Ambitious Cadell wants to keep on winning
By John Harrington
Tipperary hurler Paddy Cadell has already accumulated an impressive haul of medals.
In 2016 he won the Harty and Croke Cups with Our Lady's Secondary School, Templemore and the All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship with Tipperary.
In 2018 he starred on the All-Ireland U-21 winning Tipperary team and this year he has won an U-20 Munster Championship and could yet end the year with All-Ireland U-20 and All-Ireland senior titles.
That would be lot of success very early in someone’s career, but Cadell won’t be spoiled by it.
A very grounded character who seems mature beyond his years, Cadell speaks softly but there’s no mistaking the steely will to win that should serve him well in the future.
“It’s very surreal when you look back, but as a Tipperary hurler you have to stay looking forward,” said Cadell.
“It’s like when (American Footballer) Tom Brady was asked which was the most important medal and he said in a flash ‘the next one.’ That’s the thing, you can’t stay static if you’re a Tipperary hurler.
“You’re always looking forward and striving to be the best hurler you can be. In Tipperary you always have people coming behind you so you can’t afford to look back to much.
“But definitely, I’ve been involved in some great setups and I’ve been lucky to be involved with such great managers who have put everything in, from my manager in school in Our Lady’s to (Tipperary U-20 manager) Liam Cahill, he’s been quite successful the whole way up along.
“It’s been a very enjoyable few years and the next few weeks are also very exciting to be a Tipperary man.”
As weeks go, last week wasn’t a bad one for Cadell.
On the Tuesday he starred at centre-back for the Tipperary U-20 hurling team that beat Cork in a dramatic Munster Final.
And then on Sunday he experienced the buzz of being part of a Tipperary senior panel that pulled off one of the greatest victories in the county’s recent history when they beat Wexford in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final despite playing with 14 men for almost half the game.
“It’s been very enjoyable,” admits Cadell. “Starting off with the Munster final, that game could have gone either way and we were just delighted to be coming out on the right side of it. You look at the All Ireland semi-final and, again, that could have gone either way.
“A lot of people were saying that it was going to be Wexford’s day when we were five points down and down to 14 men.
“That Tipp senior team, they showed a huge amount of resolve and it was a hugely inspiring performance.
“They were just able to turn it around and thank God they came out on top and it’s going to make for a great spectacle, Tipperary and Kilkenny in three week’s time on August 18.”
Many of the Tipperary senior hurlers were in Semple Stadium last Tuesday to support team-mates like Cadell, Jake Morris, and Jerome Cahill who were in action for the U-20s in the Munster Final.
That spoke volume for the sense of brotherhood there currently is in the Tipperary hurling set-up, and Cadell believes the nature of the win gave the senior team a surge of energy going into their semi-final against Wexford.
Jake Morris certainly benefited, whatever about anyone else. He hit the winning goal for the U-20s against Cork and was bursting with confidence when he came on for the seniors against Wexford and scored a brilliant point that sealed the victory.
“I think Liam Sheedy is big on, ‘if you’re a Tipperary hurling fan, you’re a Tipperary hurling fan’", said Cadell.
“He was able to move his training earlier so the Tipperary team were still able to train on the Tuesday night but they were able to come in earlier and then support the three of us on the senior panel, myself, Jerome [Cahill] and Jake, and the rest of the panel as well.
“There’s a great buzz. It’s really enjoyable for the Tipp U20 team to see that they have the support of the senior team as well as the rest of the county.
“I think Liam Sheedy used the win on the Tuesday night as a bit of a catalyst for the performance against Wexford,” said Cadell.
“Jake Morris came out with the goal on Tuesday night, he pulled it out of the fire. He was the right man in the right position, if there was anyone who was going to score it, it was going to be him.
“He’s a confident player, he was full of confidence then. When he came on (against Wexford), he just wanted a chance and he got in there, I don’t even know if he even looked at the posts but he knew where they were anyway, the radar was in.
“That was a great insurance score because there was another puckout after that and Wexford had to chase a goal rather than tap over a point.
Cadell was just 11 years old when many of his current Tipperary senior team-mates won their first All-Ireland medal back in 2010.
So, when he joined up with the panel for the first time this year and began sharing a dressing-room with players he’d grown up idolising, it was a somewhat surreal experience.
“It is a ‘pinch me’ moment, you’re looking at these lads all your life from the All Irelands in ‘09/’10/’11 and you’re saying that’s where you want to be involved in a Tipperary set-up,” he said.
“It is a bit of a ‘pinch me’ moment but you want to try and be successful and improve as much as you can while these lads are there so you have to keep your head screwed on and work as hard as you can for the chance that you get.
“You’re looking at these lads working day in, day out, performing, striving to be the best that they can be, they’ll take inches anywhere they can get them, and it’s hugely enjoyable to work with them.
“We’re quite a close-knit group, the senior team. Even coming on as a young lad, them lads have been great for me, they’ve been giving tips here and there and even watching them alone has been hugely enjoyable, to see how they go about their business.
“They’re playing so well over the last number of years so it’s great to learn off them.”
Cadell certainly looks like he has benefited from being part of the Tipperary senior panel.
He’s put on a few kilos of muscle in the past year and was absolutely outstanding at centre-back for Tipperary in that Munster Final win over Cork.
The Premier County are warm favourites to now defeat beaten Leinster Finalists Wexford in the All-Ireland semi-final on the strength of their provincial success, but Cadell is wary of the challenge the Slaneysiders will pose in Nowlan Park.
“I felt they were unlucky in the Leinster final, they had their chances and maybe they just didn’t take them.
“They hit the post early in the first half and there was a goal chance or two at the end where they could have clinched victory.
“And then with the All Ireland semi-final, there will definitely be a lot of Wexford people out gunning for a win and we’re just going to do our best on the day to make sure we’re in an All Ireland Final in three weeks’ time, please God.”
Sunday, August 4
Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U-20 semi-final
Tipperary v Wexford, Nowlan Park, 1.45 (TG4)