Paul Curran joins Tipperary backroom team for championship campaign

Recently-retired Tipperary defender Paul Curran has accepted a position on manager Eamon O’Shea’s backroom team for the championship summer.

Curran, 33, announced his retirement at the end of April but O’Shea has wasted no time in ensuring that the Mullinahone stalwart remains involved with the squad.

Premier County assistant manager Michael Ryan has confirmed that Curran will work with the Tipperary full-back line for the remainder of the season.

And his presence within the set-up retains another vital link to the All-Ireland winning team of five years ago as Declan Fanning, wing-back on that occasion, is a selector alongside O’Shea.

Ryan confirmed: “Paul’s come in to do a bit of work with our inside back line.

“And we’re delighted to welcome him in. If anything, we possibly are a bit under-resourced versus some of our competition. But Paul was more than happy to come on board. He’s got years of experience here and he’s got a lot to offer us.

“And we’re delighted to keep him on board. He commands a lot of respect, given the years and years of service he’s given to us. It’s a step in the right direction for us and he is a very positive, experienced resource.”

Curran’s positioning on the backroom team will fuel speculation that he could become one of Ryan’s permanent selectors next year, when he assumes the manager’s role that will be vacated by O’Shea after the 2015 championship.

Meanwhile, Ryan played down fears surrounding clubmate James Barry’s fitness following Sunday’s challenge against Dublin, a game that marked the opening of new facilities at Upperchurch-Drombane GAA club.

Barry came off after 20 minutes with a dead leg sustained on club duty last Saturday. But given the significance of the intercounty challenge at his local field, Barry wanted to tog out against the Dubs.

Ryan said: “He probably shouldn’t have played at all but he was very anxious to turn out. It’s a big day for the club but a huge day for James when Tipperary come to your home club.”

Ryan confirmed that Tipp centre-back Paudie Maher is currently nursing a knee problem, while Maher’s Thurles Sarsfields clubmate Michael Cahill tweaked a hamstring in a recent club outing with Kildangan.

Neither player is in any danger of missing the Munster SHC semi-final against Clare or Limerick next month while another Sars player, Denis Maher, is making steady progress as he continues along the road to recovery from a dislocated shoulder sustained against Galway in February.

Ryan added: “He (Maher) did a little bit of contact work with us last week. He’s working very hard and we just have to wait and see.”

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