Brendan Maher to lead Tipperary hurlers again next season

Brendan Maher has been confirmed as Tipperary senior hurling captain for a third successive season.

The Borrisoleigh clubman will lead the Premier County into battle again next year, with Pádraic Maher retaining the role of vice-captain.

The news comes at a time when Brendan Maher looks set to revert to a midfield role for the 2016 season, having played at centre forward this year.

Manager Michael Ryan has also indicated that he is looking for greater emphasis on physicality as Tipp look to make an impact in the Allianz Hurling League and championship campaigns.

Seamus Kennedy and Steven O’Brien have come on board from the football set-up and Ryan has also included Adrian Ryan from Templederry and Mullinahone’s Sean Curran, both noted for their ball-winning abilities.

And Ryan said: “We were very deliberately going after guys who can compete physically and can do so quickly.

“With the modern players being incredibly athletic, there was an emphasis on more strength around the middle third as well as adding freshness and a new style to compliment what we have already got.”

Ryan has announced a panel of 40 players for winter training but despite this, Tipp will not be competing in the Munster Hurling League, a decision that he has defended.

Meanwhile, Benny Coulter is set to come out of inter-county retirement and line out once more for Down.

The 33-year-old, who captained the county in the 2010 All-Ireland final, retired at the end of 2014, but new Down manager Eamon Burns confirmed the change of heart.

“I was speaking to Benny and he’s started a wee bit of prep work on his own, so hopefully we’ll see him before Christmas, all being well,” Burns told The Irish News.

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