Tipperary’s Brendan Cummins has given a big indication he is considering retiring from inter-county hurling.
The all-time hurling championship appearance record holder will take more time out before making a decision. But speaking at the launch of the 2013 Poc Fada, a title the 38-year-old hopes to defend in Louth on Saturday week, the two-time All-Ireland winner admitted: “Declan Fanning was the best fella ever to get out — he got out on the steps of Croke Park. You could be around another 20 years waiting for that to happen.
“I’d always said I wanted to go out with progression. Coming from Croke Park last year, we were a little bit disorganised to say the least, to go down to Nowlan Park and only lose by three points, so there has been that progression.
“We lost to Kilkenny in the league final in their own backyard. Munster champions [Limerick] beat us in their own backyard and the All-Ireland champions again beat us in their own backyard, so that’s the way it panned out for us.”
The five-time All Star wants to spend time away from hurling before making a call on what he will do in 2014.
“Outside of training the U6s below in Ballybacon, I haven’t picked up a hurley since the Kilkenny game. I am going away on holidays on August 10 for 10 days, I just want to see what life is like without hurling so then you can make a clear decision as to whether you want to stick around at home and raise the family or go off with Tipperary again. I have been on the road a while, but we’ll see at the end of the summer what ways things pan out.”
He added: “I have been at the seaside with the family for the last two weekends and there are people looking at me going ‘what are you doing down here?’ I am getting to see what life is like during the summer and I must say I am enjoying it.”
Cummins shared goalkeeping responsibilities with Darren Gleeson this year before he took the number one jersey for the Championship games against Limerick and Kilkenny. He is mulling over whether he still has a role to play for the county. “You are always trying to weigh it up. On the other side you have to look at it and say ‘am I around too long?’ That’s the other question to be answered.
“It is very easy to say ‘I can still contribute’ and ‘I feel great’ and the whole lot. But you must also remember is there another generation of goalies that needs to come on line now and Tipperary maybe need to start afresh.
“So it’s not just about me. That’s something, when you get to my age, you get a bit mature and realise these things and ask these questions. That is where I am at now.”
He has backed Eamon O’Shea to revive Tipperary after this season’s early Championship exit.
“There is absolutely no doubt that Eamon O’Shea is the man. This year, whatever way people judge it, I think there was a bit of progression. The players love Eamon and there is an awful lot to come from Eamon as well. He is definitely the man.”
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