Curran calls it quits on inter-county career

CORK centre-back Ronan Curran has announced his retirement frominter-county hurling.

The three time All Star will continue to line out for his club, St Finbarr’s but will not be available for selection for the county side in 2012.

“I had nine tough years but enjoyable years with Cork,” said Curran, who was first brought onto the Cork senior set up by thenmanager Jimmy Barry Murphy in 2000 before making his championship debut in 2003.

“I enjoyed every minute of it. I’m sad to leave it but after the Galwaydefeat in the championship I knew it was time to leave. I’m not getting any younger and the legs are getting a bit more tired at this stage. I’ve played a lot of games in the last ten years or so. I think the time is right.

“There’s a lot of preparation involved – you’re training on your own in the gym through the winter, then in with the county team early in the year and through to August, September,October with the club.

“It’s a long haul with diets, gym programmes and the likes. It’s a tough game and it’s very serious. But I enjoyed it all. Playing for Cork is a huge honour and something I always dreamed of, and when I got to do it I loved every minute.”

The two time All-Ireland winner (2004 and 2005) intends to carry on with his club — they lost to Castlehaven in the Cork senior football championship last weekend — in the hunt for an elusive county medal.

“That’s one medal I’d love to get, a county senior hurling championship with the Barr’s. I’m looking forward to carrying on for as long as I can with them trying to win that. I also want to help out a bit back with the Barr’s at underage level now that I don’t have to give over so much time to the inter-county team.”

The sales manager with Mycro Helmets also had high praise for his former team-mates and coaches.

“From my parents through to the coaches with the Barr’s, everyone I was involved with at the inter-county level with Cork, all my team-mates — that’s what the GAA is all about for me, the fact you make friends with people.”

Meanwhile Kilkenny are still holding out hopes that Colin Fennelly will be fit to for the All-Ireland SHC final. The Ballyhale Shamrocks man got in a bit of light jogging at the weekend training camp in Carton House, and stepped up things during training at Nowlan Park subsequently. “Colin is most certainly not ruled out,” insisted Kilkenny manager, Brian Cody.

“He is making good progress. He was able to do a bit of running, although not sprinting or anything like that. The next four or five days will tell a serious story about his chances.”

Fennelly pulled the hamstring in his left leg during a local league match against Clara 10 days ago. He was rushed immediately to the cryotherapy centre in White’s Hotel, Wexford, and Kilkenny officials have admitted surprise at his rate of progress.

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