GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Tipperary keeping 'top class' Patrick 'Bonner' Maher in set-up
Last Updated: 08/08/19 12:31pm
Tipperary selector Darragh Egan has praised the influence in the set-up of Patrick 'Bonner' Maher, despite the forward suffering a season-ending injury.
"Bonner is just a top-class individual," explained Egan. "With 12 U21s on our squad, we need to keep the likes of Bonner around.
"He was brilliant, he went and did his pre-operation prehab, got his operation done and he's pumping it out.
"He's looking forward to All-Ireland final day. While he might not be able to offer anything on the field of play, he will be able to offer loads in and around our dressing-room."
Subscribe to GAA alerts!
We'll send you push notifications so you'll receive all of the big GAA news!
Although Lorrha-Dorrha star Bonner won't see any further action this year, Egan feels he'll still have plenty to offer the Premier County in the coming years.
"I have no doubt bar that bad injury against Limerick that he would be lining out (against Kilkenny)," continued Egan.
"He has already the surgery done and he's back on the bike. He is pumping it out on the sideline when the lads are training.
"I have no doubt he'll be back. St Patrick's Day is probably his aim."
Although Bonner is missing out, there is still a cohort of players in the squad who were in the side the last time Tipperary played an All-Ireland final under Liam Sheedy.
Padraic Maher, Brendan Maher, Seamus Callanan and Noel McGrath have vast experience, and Egan feels they will be key as the build-up to the decider continues:
"These guys are true Tipperary Gaels. They are top-class individuals. They have all had their knocks, you see Brendan coming back from a cruciate injury after seven months out.
"These guys are top-class individuals. They have put everything on hold to hurl for Tipperary over the last 10 years.
"They will rank among the greats that have played with us.
"It's a true mark of all their characters that they keep coming back for more.
"They would have suffered criticism but what player that has hurled inter-county in the last 15 years hasn't?
"These lads just keep coming back for more and they just want Tipperary to win."
Sky Sports' GAA coverage continues this weekend with live coverage of both All-Ireland SFC semi-finals.