KILKENNY’S three-time All Star James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick has surprisingly ended his inter-county career at the age of 26.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks man, a winner of five All-Ireland titles with the Cats, informed manager Brian Cody of his decision yesterday. Citing a lack of first-team action, Fitzpatrick relayed to Cody his intention to quit the panel before he organised his squad for 2012.
Fitzpatrick said: “I haven’t been able to nail down a place for a while, and as I don’t think I am getting any faster, it is time to go.”
Fitzpatrick also intimated there were underlying issues between himself and Cody.
“No matter what I did in training last year, no matter how well I played, it didn't seem I was going to get a go at all.
“If I was to go back next year I'd find the motivation very hard because deep down I felt inside no matter what I did in training it didn't seem I was going to get picked.”
Fitzpatrick featured just once for Kilkenny this past summer, coming on as a substitute in the Leinster final win over Dublin.
Fitzpatrick, who had suffered from hamstring problems, started just once in the 2009 championship with a couple of starts in 2010.
Meanwhile, the Connacht Council are likely to consider improving measures to protect referees as part of their investigation following championship games after Sunday’s unsavoury scenes in Kiltoom.
Council PRO Tommy Moran suggested it’s on the table following the provincial senior final between St Brigid’s and Corofin which saw referee Liam Devenny and his umpires escorted off the pitch away from a crowd of furious Corofin supporters. “We’re awaiting the referee’s report and after that the CCC (Competitions Control Committee) will take whatever action they deem necessary,” said Moran.
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