Saturday 16 December 2017

‘Corbett’s exit a huge shock’ -- Tipp boss Ryan

TIPPERARY manager Declan Ryan insists that he is as shocked as anyone over Lar Corbett’s decision to opt off the Premier County’s senior hurling panel.

Tipp fans are still reeling over Corbett’s headline-grabbing announcement, which has prompted inevitable rumours of a possible fall-out between the three-in-a-row All Star and Tipp’s management team.

But this has been refuted at official level while Ryan has stressed that work commitments lie behind the sudden departure of Corbett, an electrician-turned-publican in Thurles.

“It’s a huge shock,” Ryan admitted. “It’s a huge shock to anyone, including myself, who is a genuine Tipperary hurling fan.”

He described his meeting with Corbett on Monday as a “very amicable chat for about an hour. He said he has work commitments and was not able to give the time to prepare at this level.”

Previous indications suggested that the 30-year-old was looking forward to the new season. Asked what had prompted his change of mind, the Tipp boss replied: “He has decided to put all his energies into that area of his life (work) for the time being. We have left the door open.”

To date, the only communication from Corbett that has seeped into the public domain is a group text message sent to his now-former Tipp colleagues. “Well lads, I’m sorry to say that I have withdrawn from the Tipp panel.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 100pc commitment that is required,” he texted.

GARY SWEENEY has emerged as an injury concern for Dublin’s opening foray in this year’s Cadbury’s Leinster U21 football championship. The DCU student went off with a hamstring injury, soon after half-time, during yesterday’s Sigerson Cup victory over Cork IT. That leaves a two-week recovery time-frame for the 2010 All-Ireland winner before Dublin open their Leinster campaign away to provincial holders Wexford on Wednesday, February 22.

DUBLIN underage ace Bill O’Carroll has a hectic night in front of him, with the prospect of playing two crucial games on opposite sides of the capital.

O’Carroll - the younger brother of Dublin hurler Ross and footballer Rory - is on the UCD squad that will take on Cork IT in tonight’s Fitzgibbon Cup clash at Belfield (6pm). He then faces the prospect of a dash across the city, not to mention a swop of codes, to help Kilmacud Crokes in their quest for the Dublin U21 FC ‘A’ title.

The U21 decider against Na Fianna, at Parnell Park, has been pushed back half-an-hour - with a 8pm throw-in.

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