Tipperary hurler Jason Forde accept that it’s time he makes the next step in his career and takes up the mantle as one of the Premier’s main scoring threat in championship hurling.
Although Michael Breen wore the No 14 jersey in Tipperary’s 2-22 to 2-21 defeat to Kilkenny last weekend, Forde has been tasked with plugging the gap left behind by injured full-forward Seamus Callanan.
Forde missed the clash with the Cats because of his involvement the previous day helping University of Limerick win the Fitzgibbon Cup in Mallow.
However, the 24-year-old Silvermines star has laid down a marker in this league campaign, scoring 3-28 in just three games against Clare, Waterford and Wexford.
“I have been knocking around for a few years now. Every year you come back you are trying to add bits to your game and push on,” said Forde.
“I am 24 now so it’s my last time playing college hurling, I will be out of college after this year. Hopefully this season I will be able to push on.”
Forde was outstanding in the Fitzgibbon Cup this year where he lined out in the UL full-forward line alongside Tipperary teammate John McGrath.
McGrath contributed two points in the final, but Forde was in stunning form once again, and scored 1-10 in a 2-21 to 2-15 victory over DCU in Cork.
Forde will have to contend with the return of some All-Stars and All-Ireland winners in the coming weeks but he says he is capable of staking a claim for regular inclusion into the summer months.
“You have Seamus Callanan to come back, and you have ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer there as well.
“You have really good hurlers all around there, so you really have to be playing at the top of your game if you want to get a place in that 15,” said Forde.
“That’s what everyone is trying to do... trying to put themselves in the shop window at this time of the year, and just play as well as they can (ahead of the Championship).”
Forde is likely to be back in action for Tipp next weekend in their rescheduled league clash with Cork in Thurles when he will hope to continue his brilliant start to 2018.
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