By Jim O’Sullivan
CHARLIE CARTER may be about to quit the Kilkenny senior hurling team.
Though Carter, the captain of the side and the management team refused to comment on the matter, informed sources in the county indicate that he was bitterly disappointed not to have been included in the starting line-up for last weekend’s glamour game against Tipperary in Nowlan Park.
He had played impressively in the preceding tie against Dublin in Nowlan Park, when he finished with 1-6. Instead, he was one of five substitutes introduced 15 minutes from the end of the game, contributing an important goal a short time after coming on.
Carter, one of the most popular players in the game, trained with the rest of the panel on Wednesday night. However, the actual team to face Cork wasn’t announced until after training and the assumption is that he was further annoyed not to have been picked for the game, which could very well decide which of the two counties qualifies for the final.
It’s ironic that the situation should develop in the week that Denis Byrne was named as a substitute on the Tipperary team for the game with Galway. Byrne was reportedly upset after failing to make the Kilkenny panel for the championship and decided not only to transfer to nearby Mullinahone but to change his intercounty allegiance to Tipperary also.
The belief among some supporters before last Sunday’s match was that several members of the Kilkenny team were on trial, Brian McEvoy, Jimmy Coogan and Eddie Brennan being the names mentioned. In the event, all three were replaced, with Carter coming in for Coogan and operating at right corner-forward.
Carter wasn’t able to command a regular place in the championship last season, because of a combination of form and the fierce competition for places in the attack. In fact, the only game he started was the Leinster final against Wexford and even then he didn’t have the satisfaction of playing the full 70 minutes as he was replaced in the second half by Stephen Grehan. In the All-Ireland final he was brought on late in the game.
Carter won an All-Ireland minor medal in 1988, in the company of club-mate DJ Carey and was a substitute when Kilkenny beat Cork in the 1992 senior final.
When the counties met in the 1999 final and Cork scored a surprise win, Carter was reportedly unhappy after having been replaced before the end. He won a second medal in 2000 against Offaly.