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Brendan Maher Says Leaving Tipp WhatsApp Group Was Hardest Part Of Retirement

Brendan Maher Says Leaving Tipp WhatsApp Group Was Hardest Part Of Retirement
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Tipperary hurling lost a real talisman last week when it was announced that he would be stepping away from the inter-county scene.

The Borris-Ileigh club man won three All-Ireland titles with Tipperary and three All-Star awards during an outstanding career, captaining the side for a number of years.

At 32-years old, he certainly had another year or two left in the tank. However, stepping away while still at the top of his game may be no bad thing.

It caught many by surprise, although the player himself knew for quite some time that this would be his last year with Tipp.


Speaking on the BBC's The GAA Social, Maher said he made his mind up long before the loss to Waterford and had hinted to Liam Sheedy for some time that he would not be available for 2022. However, he said the whole thing only really hit home after he messaged the team's WhatsApp group:

You're going to laugh at this and say it's a real cliche at this stage, but the WhatsApp message to the group was nearly harder (than ringing Liam Sheedy).

I made the few calls, family and friends knew, they had an idea in the couple of weeks after the Waterford game. I rang Liam [Sheedy] on the Wednesday and spoke to him, contacted a few other people that I wanted to talk to rather than just reading it as a message.

That eight o'clock message to the WhatsApp group on the Thursday to bid my farewell, and you're leaving the group.

I've heard people say that before and thought 'sure it's hardly that big of a deal', but it is a big deal because sources of information come through WhatsApp groups.

That was a big deal and it became very real once I saw the statement out on Twitter after they posted it. It was like 'right, it's out there now'...

It was something I had decided a long time ago. It was very much a case of keep going, give 100 per cent, and be able to at the end of the season retire knowing you've given it your all.

Thankfully I'm quite content with it. When I'm looking back on it and reflecting on my career I'm proud of the effort and approach that I had rather than the wins and the losses.

Of course, Brendan Maher wasn't the only man to step away from the Tipperary setup in recent days, with Liam Sheedy also deciding not to continue in his role as manager.


His former captain said he had thought about Sheedy's future, but still expected him to carry on for at least another year.

I had no inkling of it at all, I didn't know it was coming.

I knew that management were going to sit down at some stage and discuss it because Liam's tenure was up, but I was quite surprised to be honest.

Some people were saying he would go, some people were saying he would stay. I was a bit on the fence, maybe starting to lean towards that he would stay and some of the coaches would move on because they were maybe in the same boat as myself.

I was quite surprised, but overall he has been manager for six years between his first stint and another three years. He has given his fair share of time and done a lot for the county, he deserves to make his own decision.

I wish him the best of luck with it.

Two huge losses to Tipperary.

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