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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Final defeat will linger for Tipp captain Brendan Maher

Brendan Maher
Brendan Maher

FOR Brendan Maher, it's not a case of getting anything out of his system by cracking on with 2015 in Parnell Park on Sunday.

More a matter of just getting back on with it.

Because the Tipp captain, whilst declaring himself "not a person who looks to the past too often," is also not about to underplay the associated trauma of losing an All-Ireland final replay.

"It's probably something that will go with you for the rest of your life, if I'm honest," he admits, though not all of the experience was negative.

"You can't just look at last year and say '100 per cent disappointed'," Maher insists of a season that oscillated from the Munster exit to Limerick, the local criticism which followed, all the way through to a two-game epic, if ultimately a losing one, against their traditional bête noire.

"What I'm looking at - and not just as a player 0 it was an amazing life experience to go through all the emotions and to be able to come through a lot of obstacles and challenges.

"And to have the experience of playing in an All-Ireland again and experiencing the euphoria of that.

"But I'm not a person who looks to the past too often. I look forward and try and be as positive as possible.

"A defeat like that…a defeat in any game, I remember all the games I've played in.

"You remember the good ones and the bad ones and the bad ones are probably in your head a lot more than the good ones.

"But I just want to be able to say at the end of my career that I gave everything for Tipperary and I think most of the players are the very same.

"You just want to give 100 per cent and whatever comes with it, you have to deal with it."

Last year, Maher and Tipp had to deal with plenty of it.

Not a week had past since they were beaten by Limerick in Thurles for the first time since 1973 when accusations of over-zealous merriment appeared in Tipp-based media outlets, echoing plenty of localised grumbling.

The unsaid accusation being that they didn't care enough.

"We're a hundred per cent motivated and a hundred per cent committed and I think anybody who questions a GAA player, doesn't really know what they're talking about," Maher reflects now.

COMMITMENT

"It's an amateur sport and people sacrifice their whole lives to play the sport that they love. Anyone that steps out on that field, why would you question their commitment?"

"Yeah, it is very frustrating. Nobody goes out to play a bad game or nobody goes out to lose a game. Unfortunately in sport, there has to be a winner and a loser in most games and that's something you have to deal with.

"But yeah, to be honest, personally, it would frustrate me when I hear people giving out about certain players and almost accusing them of certain things as a person, nearly. You're judged as a person, the way you perform.

"But things like that are part of it. In Ireland, I suppose, the Irish are a bit negative in a lot of ways. It's the nature of the beast at the moment."

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