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Dublin: 17 °C Friday 25 May, 2018

Long-serving Kerry hurler and Christy Ring Cup winning captain retires

John ‘Tweek’ Griffin first lined out for the Kingdom in 2003.

LONG-SERVING KERRY hurler John ‘Tweek’ Griffin has announced his retirement from the inter-county game.

John Griffin lifts The Christy Ring Cup Kerry defeated Derry in the 2015 Christy Ring Cup final. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Griffin featured in last Sunday’s Leinster round-robin clash against Laois, a defeat that confirmed Kerry’s exit from the 2017 hurling championship race.

The Lixnaw club man has been involved with the Kerry squad since 2003, winning Christy Ring Cup medals with the Kingdom in 2011 and 2015.

He captained Kerry to that success two years ago in the final against Derry in Croke Park.

The 33-year-old claimed three league medals – Division 2A in 2014 and 2015, and Division 3A in 2010 – along with claiming three county senior hurling medals in 2005, 2007 and 2014.

Griffin also played football with Finuge – the club of Eamonn Fitzmaurice and Paul Galvin – winning county and provincial medals at junior and intermediate level, along with being part of an All-Ireland junior club victory in 2005.

He reflected on standout memories from his career.

John Fitzgerald and John Griffin celebrate John Griffin (right) celebrating the league final win over Derry in 2010. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“Over the last 15 years I have had a wonderful time playing with some of the best hurlers in the county,” said Griffin.

“I feel very privileged to have experienced so much with these players on and off the field and many will remain friends for life.

“I leave with great memories. Walking the steps of the Hogan Stand to collect the Christy Ring Cup is something very few get an opportunity to do, competing in Division 1 of the Allianz Hurling League, and as always the small things that being part of the team environment bring with it.”

Brian Carroll and John Griffin John Griffin (right) in action against Offaly's Brian Carroll. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Griffin also paid tribute to his club and family, while revealing his belief that the outlook is bright for hurling in his county.

“Finally, while not everyone understands the lure of playing hurling with Kerry it has provided me with some great days and it is something that will be very hard to replace.

“I would like to say to any young player if you are good enough for Kerry, make yourself available, work hard, be ambitious and enjoy what it has to offer.

“With the players available the next few years will be an exciting time for Kerry hurling and I look forward to following their progress.

“For now I look forward to giving time to other areas of my life but I am sure I’ll be back in some capacity in the near future.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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