By Jackie Cahill
Tipperary county board secretary Tim Floyd has suggested that the door remains open to Cathal Barrett for a possible return to the county’s senior hurling panel.
All-Star Barrett, 23, has been dropped by team manager Michael Ryan for disciplinary reasons.
The corner back now faces an uncertain inter-county future but Floyd says that the matter may not be a “fait accompli.”
Speaking to Tipp FM this morning, Floyd said: “These kinds of things make headlines, unfortunately, but still, it’s a matter between the county (team) management and Cathal Barrett.
“They set down the standards and they expect all of the players to follow the guidelines.
“It’s unfortunate in this case that Cathal was out injured and he let his guard down.
“But I presume they’ve left the door open to him, that’s it’s not a fait accompli.
“It’s like the child being put sitting in the corner for a while.”
Barrett would have been ruled out of Tipperary’s first All-Ireland SHC qualifier on July 1 in any event, having sustained a knee injury during the recent Munster quarter-final loss to Cork at Semple Stadium.
It was initially feared that Barrett had sustained cruciate knee ligament damage but it later emerged that he had damaged medial ligaments, with a 6-8 week recovery period envisaged.
Ryan still decided to cut him loose, however, sending out a clear message to other panel members that indiscipline will not be tolerated.
Floyd added: “All of these things are blown out of proportion in a lot of ways.
“At the end of the day, it’s a matter between management and Cathal Barrett – it’s up to them to sort it between them.”
Despite this unwanted upheaval, Floyd insists that Tipp’s sights are firmly set on retaining their All-Ireland crown through the back door.
He said: “You have to respect management, we put the management in place, they delivered last year in an All-Ireland (final) and their target is to do similar this year.
“They set out the platform as to how they intend to achieve that. They’re constantly meeting with the players and spelling it out to them, the standards which they require.
“They had a meeting with the players at training last night (Tuesday) and they’re meeting again this weekend. It’s a constant review to make sure everybody is conforming.”
Floyd added that he doesn’t expect Barrett’s axing to derail the remainder of Tipp’s summer campaign – and that the situation won’t affect morale in the camp.
He said: “I don’t think so, there’s a great unit of players there. And I’m in the dressing room before and after all matches. They’re on a mission to win another All-Ireland and there’s nothing going to knock them off that.
“There’s a pool of players there, 35 on the panel and Cathal is just one of those.
“There’s still 34 more players in there on a mission and their target is to win another All-Ireland.”
But Floyd accepted that Barrett will be a loss to Tipperary in the full-back line, considering that left corner backs Donagh Maher and Michael Cahill both missed the Cork match with hamstring injuries.
He said: “Definitely, we’re not rich on corner backs at the moment.
“It’s a big decision for management to take but you can’t set anyone apart, everyone is treated the same in there and players know that. There’s no comfort zone for anybody.
“Mick Ryan, as manager, sets very high standards and he enforces the discipline exactly as he sees it.”
County board chairman Michael Bourke, an Upperchurch-Drombane clubmate of Ryan’s, told Tipp FM on Tuesday evening: “I had consultation with the senior hurling manager, who informed me that Cathal Barrett will be dropped off the senior hurling panel with immediate effect for disciplinary reasons.
“He (Ryan) still has the full backing of the county board and county board executive, and the officers. He has a job to do and that’s it. We trust him fully.”