Tipperary chairman Sean Nugent has refused to be drawn on the reaction to Lar Corbett’s hamstring pull in Saturday’s All-Ireland SHC qualifier at Nowlan Park.
A war of words has broken out between supporters of both counties, with Tipp fans unhappy at jeers from Kilkenny fans when Corbett sustained the injury in a race for possession with Paul Murphy.
But Nugent revealed: “Personally, I took no heed of it. I was very close to the situation when Lar came out for that ball and when he gave that move forward, I knew immediately he was in trouble. There seemed to be some reaction to it alright but I was too caught up in the game to make any assessment of it.”
Nugent, meanwhile, has urged Tipperary’s elder statesmen to be given the time and space to consider their inter-county futures.
The spotlight will fall on experienced quintet Corbett, Brendan Cummins, Eoin Kelly, John O’Brien and Paul Curran in the coming weeks and months. And Nugent acknowledged: “A lot of people will say that some players may call time on their careers and many of those players owe Tipperary nothing. We still have the nucleus of a strong team there and we will be a formidable force. It’s too early to speculate (on retirements). That’s the prerogative of players but I have no doubt that while people would speculate to some extent, these players have to be given time and space and in the fullness of time, they’ll make their own decisions.”
Nugent has also insisted that Eamon O’Shea is the man to oversee a transitional phase for the Premier County.
And he also insisted that a tightening of the financial belt did not impact on the team’s performances in 2013.
With Tipp’s senior hurlers and footballers out of the championship, along with the minor hurlers, county board chiefs should make a significant saving on team expenses.
But Nugent insisted: “That’s not the way we want to be saving money. And I want to be categorical that any of our losses or failures this year wasn’t on account of cutbacks or any of that. Any of the measures that we took, the players bought into that and they were very good in that area.
“The players had no problems and confirmed that they were well treated. And if we had moved on, we have some very generous supporters and sponsors and finance would have been available to us.”
Nugent added: “The work that Eamon, Michael Ryan and Paudie O’Neill have done was tremendous. We see it at close levels. The ordinary supporter doesn’t see that level of commitment and people will criticise from time to time. They’re entitled to do that but the work and commitment from those people has been exceptional. Eamon is a very special man who has very special qualities and we’re not that far away from success.”
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