Bonnar denies rift with Tipp county board

TIPPERARY hurling selector Colm Bonnar has dismissed speculation of a rift between the management team and the county board.

His comments follow a stinging attack on the Tipp hurlers by GAA Secretary Michael O’Brien for their perceived lack of aggression.

“Many of our players at all levels lack urgency,” O’Brien wrote in his annual report to convention.

“There is no cutting edge about them, no legitimate aggression, no hunger, no do-or-die attitude necessary to win All-Irelands. Too many players seem to have an air of complacency, a feeling that the back door is there as a lifeline, a safety net, a belief that if you make the panel at the beginning of the year, you are there for the year and a recipient of all the gear and goodies.”

But Bonnar yesterday insisted the comments had not created any undue tension, despite suggestions at least one of the Tipp management team threatened to resign over the comments.

He stressed that the management team of Ken Hogan, Jack Bergin and himself remains in place and is already planning for the League and championship.

“We were organising equipment for our training, which we will be commencing in January,” said Bonnar.

He reacted with surprise to resignation speculation.

“I have heard nothing at all about that,” said Bonnar.

“If anything like that was happening Ken would have first spoken to me.

“You often hear comments from county secretaries at this time of year and some of it would raise an eyebrow and others wouldn’t. What he said went to the core of some of the players alright, that they lacked a bit of hunger and do-or-die. But I thought it was more of an attack on the championship system in Tipperary, in that teams are getting too many chances, rather than on the players,” Bonnar added.

“I’m not resigning and I don’t know of anyone resigning,” Mr O’Brien said defiantly yesterday.

He refused to make any further comment.

Meanwhile, the Limerick hurling management have looked to Ollie Moran to guide their fortunes in 2005. He takes over as captain from Garryspillane’s TJ Ryan.

Moran last held the captaincy six years ago and his club, Ahane, won county championship honours in October.

Monaleen’s Muiris Gavin was recently appointed captain of the Limerick senior football team.

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