Sports

Tipperary Duo Announce Retirements

Thursday, 1 December 2016

NORTH Tipperary duo Paddy Stapleton (Borris-Ileigh) and Gearoid Ryan (Templederry) both announced their retirements from intercounty hurling last week.
Both lined out in Tipperary's All-Ireland victory over Kilkenny in 2010 and picked up a second medal as part of the wider Tipperary panel this year.
In his statement Paddy Stapleton said 'following ten wonderful years playing senior hurling for Tipperary since first being called up by Babs Keating in 2006, which had until then been a lifelong dream, I wish to announce my retirement from the inter-county scene.
'I wish to thank my family, especially my parents Patricia and John, for all the positivity and advice through the years and also to my partner Jozette and close friends for supporting me always, particularly when I had injury setbacks. I owe a huge gratitude of thanks to the Principal and my fellow staff members of Coláiste Mhuire Co -Ed Secondary School, Thurles, who facilitated me in any way they could during my time with the county.
'My club Borris-Ileigh have always made life easy for me when playing with Tipperary and it will be a pleasure to give back as much as I can to them in the coming years. Equally the Gaelic Players Association has helped massively whenever I needed assistance and they provide a great service for the players.
'In the Tipperary backroom over the years, men of the calibre of John Casey, Paddy O'Brien, Dr Kevin Delargy, Dr Brendan Murphy and Mick Clohessy had their work cut out keeping me injury-free and they all did a fantastic job and I sincerely thank them for that. The Tipperary Co. Board has also been great to me and continues to support the team to an elite level with the much appreciated assistance from the Tipperary Supporters Club.
'I'd like to thank the supporters who kept the faith through good times and bad, it was a huge privilege and honour to represent them.
'I would like to thank all the players I played with and I feel unbelievably lucky to have shared a dressing-room with some of the best Tipperary have ever produced. More importantly, I have made lifelong friendships and shared fantastic memories with great people.
'All the management teams played important roles in my life and each deserve enormous credit for taking on their respective roles. It is important for me that I especially acknowledge Liam Sheedy, Eamon O'Shea and Mick Ryan. They put huge trust in me and always led their teams in the best manner possible.
'Finally I'd like to wish the current panel the very best of luck for 2017 and beyond. There is a great mix of youth and experience within this group and I have every faith that they will keep performing to the highest levels similar to what has been reached in recent years.'
In appreciation, Tipperary Co. Board Chairman Michael Bourke commented that 'Paddy Stapleton exemplified the spirit of Tipperary by his ferocious work rate and ambition since he first came on the inter-county scene. A solid, dependable and committed player the "Saint" always delivered when it mattered most and through his passion on the fields of play led his line on every occasion. On behalf of Tipperary County Board and all Tipperary people I thank Paddy for his contributions to the Tipperary cause over the years and wish him every success for the future.'
Paddy made his Senior competitive debut for Tipperary in the 2006 Waterford Crystal Shield against Waterford. Paddy made his National League debut against Limerick in 2008 coming on as a substitute. Paddy won a Munster Under 21 Hurling medal in 2006 at right corner-back and won a Munster Minor Hurling medal in 2003, lining out at centre-back.
 Paddy won a National Hurling League medal as a substitute in 2008. Paddy has won four Munster Senior Hurling medals. Paddy made his Championship debut as a blood substitute in the 2008 All-Ireland Semi-Final against Waterford. Paddy made his first Championship start at right corner-back in the 2009 Munster Senior Hurling Championship vs. Cork. Paddy lined out at right corner back in the 2010 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final victory over Kilkenny before winning a second All-Ireland Senior Hurling medal as part of the 2016 Tipperary panel. Paddy has won two North Senior Hurling medals with his club in 2005 and 2007. Paddy was nominated for an All-Star award in 2009, 2010 and 2014 at corner-back.
Making his announcement Gearoid Ryan said 'having enjoyed eight years on the Tipperary senior hurling panel since I first joined it in 2009, I have decided to announce my retirement. In recent years injuries have limited my ability to compete for a first 15 place and that has been a major factor in my decision. It has been a great honour for me to represent my county at senior level.
'I will greatly miss being involved with the Tipperary senior hurling panel all of whom I admire greatly. I have many great memories and made many lifelong friendships during my time on the panel.  I want to thank all the players sincerely and I also want to thank the managers and backroom teams who gave me the honour of representing my county and were always very supportive of me.
'I am very grateful to Tipperary County Board and Tipperary Supporters Club for their unstinting support of the team. My club, Templederry Kenyons, have always given me tremendous support and I thank them sincerely for that.  
'My eternal gratitude is due to Laura, my parents and family for their great loyalty and encouragement at all times. 
'Finally, I wish Tipperary well for the future, I have no doubt this team will go on to achieve many more great successes'.
Tipperary County Board Chairman, Michael Bourke acknowledged the contribution of Gearoid commenting, 'Gearoid Ryan made an immediate impact for Tipperary since he first burst onto the scene. He was a tremendous worker and was able to pick off vital scores when needed most. He will always be remembered for his stand out performance against Galway in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final in 2010 which proved a catalyst in Tipperary's All-Ireland success of that year. I have no doubt had Gearoid not been inflicted with injury as he was, he would have accrued more honours with Tipperary. I thank him for his great contribution to Tipperary and I wish him every success now and for the future.'
Gearoid made his National Hurling League debut against Cork in February 2009, scoring a point from play. Gearoid won an All-Ireland Minor Hurling medal with Tipperary in 2006, lining out at midfield in the final. Gearoid was also on the Tipperary Intermediate Hurling panel in 2007 and 2008 Gearoid was part of the Tipperary Under 21 Hurling panel in 2007, 2008 and 2009, winning a Munster medal in 2008. Gearoid made his Championship debut as a substitute against Cork in the 2009 Munster Senior Hurling Championship. Gearoid has won five Munster Senior Hurling medals.
Gearoid Ryan won the man of the match award in the 2010 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final against Galway, scoring 1-2 from play. Gearoid played wing-forward on the Tipperary team which captured the 2010 All-Ireland Senior Hurling title, scoring a point in the final before winning his second All-Ireland Senior Hurling medal as part of the 2016 panel. Gearoid was nominated for an All-Star award in 2010 in the half-forward line and in 2011 at midfield. Gearoid lined out at wing-forward for the Munster hurlers in the 2012 Inter-Provincial competition.

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