Fitzpatrick won’t be tempted into Kilkenny return

James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick says Brian Cody "can ring away" if he wants the Ballyhale man to return to the inter-county game, as hurling is now a "pastime" for the former Kilkenny midfielder.

Fitzpatrick starred for his club last Sunday in their county final win over Clara but he has no interest in a return to the black and amber. “Cody can ring away,” said Fitzpatrick. “I’m happy enough playing away there (with the club).

“The main aim at the start of the year was the county final and now we’ll go ahead and represent Kilkenny in Leinster. Anything that comes from now on is a bonus. But no question about it, we are good enough to go further.”

Fitzpatrick gave a trademark display, processing ball forward for his attack: “My role was to roam around and pick up the breaking ball. I did that, supply it into the lads, there was no need for heroes today, just get it in, ball in the hand, over the bar, simple hurling.”

The 29-year-old, who has five All-Ireland senior medals, paid tribute to the club management: “The lads (selectors) are very good at what they do and they brought a good wave of freshness into the team. I think the key was we were very fresh this year.”

Fitzpatrick said he had “had his time” at inter-county level: “If I was giving any young lad advice going into it, it’s 100% commitment.

“You have to be prepared to put everything to the side.

“Fair play to the lads who do get involved. But I see hurling as a pastime for me. You have to put in the hard work too but it’s brilliant with the lads you grow up with and to bring home the cup.

“We are such a small parish with few lads to pick from but there is a good group of lads there — I am sure there is a few more lads to come on the conveyor belt.”


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