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Walsh: “The Aim Is To Stay Going Until I’m In My 40s”

Former Kilkenny wing-back, Tommy Walsh, is in no rush to hang up his boots, maintaining that he will stay involved as a player with his club for at least five more years.

The nine-time All Ireland winner retired from the inter-county scene in 2014 after 13 years, but continues to feature for his club, Tullaroan, lining out for the Kilkenny intermediate final back in October, where they lost out to Graigue-Ballycallan.

Despite being involved in a young team, Walsh has no immediate retirement plans as he relishes the “culture” the club is slowly growing.

“I’ll come back for another five years hopefully, whether I’m on the team or not, I don’t know. The aim is to stay going until I’m into my 40s because you’re retired long enough and sitting around eating Pringles and boxes of roses”

Tommy Walsh Tullaroan

“Ah I love it, we’ve a very young team at the club and there’s a huge culture being built at the moment and down our club at the moment, you’ve hurling under-7 all the way up to intermediate, you’ve camogie from under-six all the way up.”

“It’s a hive of activity at the moment and even though we had a massive disappointment in the final, it’s as good a time to be in the club as I can remember and I want to be part of that for another few years.”

The 35-year-old is still a keen observer and analyst of the hurling championship and believe’s that last year’s championship was the best year in his memory, given how open it was.

“It goes back to the mid-90s when five or six teams could win the All-Ireland. We were all at home over the Christmas and watching the summer of hurling on the telly and then watching the All-Ireland finals on eir as well, you kind of forget how good it was and, in my lifetime, it was the best summer of hurling.”

Walsh is also tipping Clare and Waterford to have big years after showing glimpses of their ability in 2018. The Deise were hit with an injury crisis at the beginning of last year’s Munster Championship and despite heroic performances against Tipperary and Cork, Derek McGrath’s side failed to make it out of the province, leading to his resignation.

Clare, on the other hand, found themselves as Munster runners-up for the second year in-a-row, before taking part in two games for the ages against Galway, missing out on a place in the All Ireland final by the slimmest of margins.

Walsh believes the confidence they have gained from that experience, together with the Munster Hurling League win, will stand to them this summer.

“I think the fairytale will stay going this year. Last year, Limerick hadn’t won it since 73 and the whole country got behind a team like that. I think it could be another one of those years. In my mind, Clare have been coming and coming, they were very structured for a few years, but the last two or three years they look like a team that’s been playing with much more freedom and I think they’re getting better and better.”

Tony Kelly Clare GAA

“Their performance in the Munster League final against Tipp, who have a massive pre-season put in, shows they’re up for it again, so I think Clare and Waterford would be my tips for this year.”

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eir Sport have announced details of its Allianz Leagues coverage for 2019, while also confirming it will broadcast two games from the Lidl Ladies National Football League. In total eir sport will broadcast fifteen live games in the coming months with up to three live matches available to GAA fans some weekends. The coverage begins on January 26th on the home of live GAA on Saturday nights under lights.

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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter