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'Where Do You Start With That?' Lar Corbett Hits Back At Recent Criticism From Babs Keating

'Where Do You Start With That?' Lar Corbett Hits Back At Recent Criticism From Babs Keating
By PJ Browne
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Last Thursday night, on Off The Ball, Babs Keating ripped in to several of his former Tipperary charges in an interview where the 71-year-old spoke without filter.

One of those he was particularly critical of was Lar Corbett.

Corbett's injury problems especially riled Keating.

You take Lar Corbett. Lar Corbett came to me one night in training. I couldn't get him to train. And he said to me that his doctor told him that if he kept training, he wouldn't be able to walk when he was thirty. Now, how am I supposed to cope with that... Lar Corbett never trained with us. That was the situation for two or three years. I was around long enough to know that you cannot compete in the game we were at if you weren't superbly fit.

Corbett was expected to appear on Off The Ball last week, but had to cancel. Looking back now, Joe Molloy and Colm Parkinson must feel a modicum of fortune regarding the All-Ireland winner's cancellation.


It gave Lar, with his appearance on Newstalk on Tuesday evening, a chance of a rebuttal to Keating's claims.

That's a little harsh. Where do you start with that? Never trained!

I'm some man to never train but still start an All-Ireland quarter-final against Wexford at Croke Park.

Corbett did have a shred of sympathy for his former Tipp boss.

I can understand it. Players are coming to you on a regular basis; which I would have been. So, if I'm coming to Babs on a regular basis and I'm telling Babs 'I can't train tonight', his mind is definitely going to be thinking that a player is trying to pull some sort of a quick one.

The understanding, when Liam [Sheedy] came in and we were working one-to-one with John Casey. This is where it starts and it takes the onus off the player. All the manager has to do then is make up his mind on 'Is he ever going to be right?' and if he isn't get somebody else.

However, he could only speak with negativity regarding Keating's second time in charge of the Tipp hurlers.

Anything that he ever said, in front of the dressing room, when I was listening, it just didn't sound legit. It didn't sound real. It didn't sound believable. And I would have said 'You know when the chips are down, I don't think he's going to back me'. That's my own personal opinion.

I'd love to see if we could get one other person that was in the room to say otherwise. I think that you would find that hard.

Everytime that I hear him talking, it's negativity about a Tipperary player. It's tough to listen to. Plus we were the laughing stock then for a few years. It was great for other teams looking in saying 'Jaysus, Babs is a right lad, some craic.'

Yeah, some craic when you're looking in but not when you're looking out.

Corbett would also go on to label Keating as essentially a joke figure, a 'laughing stock'.

When you're serious about something and you're trying to take on arguably the best team of all time, Kilkenny at the time, and we've a laughing stock. You're not going to win much then.

Asked by Colm Parkinson if he would have much of a relationship with Keating these days, Corbett described his former manager as someone he does not take seriously.


I'd say with all the talk he's doing about the players, he doesn't drive through Tipparary. I reckon he goes around down by Wexford and Cork.

I've no problem. I just think the whole thing is a laugh. That's what it is, it's just a laugh. Everytime he speaks now, I get good craic out of it, because you don't take it serious. You can't take him serious.

Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

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