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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019

'Getting beaten in the All-Ireland final was massive and this year was as bad'

James Woodlock experienced the highs and lows of intercounty hurling during his career with Tipperary.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

JAMES WOODLOCK HAS been reflecting upon his intercounty career, having decided to retire at the age of 29.

There were various highs and lows during his time in the colours of Tipperary, most notably an horrific leg break suffered on club duty in 2009 and that ruled him out of action for over a year.

But Woodlock returned to revive his intercounty career and that’s a source of great pride to the Drom & Inch midfielder.

“I got back to the highest level and that was massive for me,” he told Tipp FM.

“A personal achievement I set myself, got this injury, can I come back?

“I always felt I could come back, I was told I couldn’t. It was massive then to put back on the blue and gold jersey and the green and white of Drom & Inch is extremely special.

“The high was winning Munster finals and winning the All-Ireland final (2010).

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“The lows were getting beaten – last year in the All-Ireland final was massive and this year was as bad. They were two massive blows.

“Management teams come and go, you favour some over others, they all play a part, the highs are obviously winning the medals. The Munster final this year was important for Tipperary hurling, not alone the panel. We had higher expectations, like supporters have all the time and rightly so.

“The expectation is there for winning All-Irelands and that’s the way it should be.

“But it was never about the bigger day for me, I just loved passionately wearing the blue and gold of my county, even if it was just a challenge match in Dr. Morris Park where there was no-one there.

Eamon O'Shea celebrates with James Woodlock Former Tipperary manager Eamon O'Shea embraces Woodlock after the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final victory over Cork. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“I cherished them as much as the bigger days inside in Semple Stadium or Croke Park. The lowest point would have been October 2009 when I broke my leg.

“It was a massive setback at that time but I came through it. If people were to say to me would I get another five or six years then I would have said no and I got them. They’re bonus years that I picked up since ’09.”

Woodlock indicated that the increasing demands on intercounty players were factored into his decision, even though he feels fit enough to continue.

“There’s numerous factors, I had been thinking about it since we were beaten by Galway and then the club finished up and I was looking back over it.

“I’ve possibly given a lot to Tipperary since U12, it all started for me, the Primary Game and that. It’s the best part of 20 years and the demand is becoming more and more.

“At the end of the day I’m only 29, you could say I have a couple more years left and the body is probably able for it, there’s no question about that.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I keep myself fit and right, I have been thinking about it a lot and I felt the demands are getting more and more and you’re being pulled an awful lot more.

“If I wasn’t able to give 100 per cent to the Tipp set-up, I felt maybe now is the time for me to go. I’m happy with my decision and all I can do is with the panel, my friends, the very best of luck for 2016.”

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