Padraic Maher with former Tipp manager Liam Sheedy at the Aviva Stadium yesterday. INPHO/Donall Farmer
On The Lookout

Padraic Maher: 'Only I'm hurling for Sarsfields I would have left the country'

The Tipperary defender is grateful to his club’s provincial campaign, which continues in next Sunday’s Munster final, for keeping him occupied.

TIPPERARY STAR PADRAIC Maher has reveals that he would have emigrated in search of employment if Thurles Sarsfields, next Sunday’s Munster senior club hurling finalists, had not still been in action.

Maher is one of several inter-county players struggling to secure work and is grateful for his club’s provincial campaign in keeping him occupied.

“I have no work at the moment but please god in January something might come my way. It’s tough but I wouldn’t be the only GAA player that is out of work.

“I was training to be a plumber but that went down with the economy. I spent a year in UL doing a fitness course, came out then and gave a hand doing ambassador for the Cúl Camps in the county. But then since Tipp finished, everything else finished as well.

“I’d say only I’m hurling for Sarsfields at the moment I would have left the country for a couple of months and tried to work somewhere else until January. Thankfully the club are going so well, I have something to keep me occupied.

“I’d love to go travelling but I’d find it hard to leave the hurling. I’d hate for it to come to the fact that I would have to go somewhere to try and earn a few pound.

“Maybe seven or eight years ago if you were an inter county player you would be guaranteed a job but that is no good to me now.

“The way things have gone I’m not the only one and you see other players who had to move like Meath’s Joe Sheridan went away and then came back.”

Tipperary’s new manager Eamon O’Shea (centre). Pic: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Maher, who was speaking at the ‘National Awards to Volunteers in Irish Sport’ in the Aviva Stadium yesterday, also revealed that the Tipperary squad have already had a meeting with new manager Eamon O’Shea.

“It was just an introduction to the new management. We know each other inside out. Eamonn was one of the best coaches I have had. This time it’s different, he’s a manager and he has different responsibilities.

“Paudie O’Neill is in as well and he’ll do more of the coaching. It is exciting to come into a new set-up knowing what the management are capable of doing and having had a taste of it in 2009 and 2010.

“Eamon came in in 2008 and I wasn’t part of the panel until 2009. But from talking to the players, no one knew anything about him. You had to Google him to see who he was.

“But there’s a good sign this year because we had to Google Paudie O’Neill this year too. It can work out better when he doesn’t know the players and us not knowing him. It was the same with Eamonn and that worked out great.”

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