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Hurling: Quinn wants a big time Charlie to shine for the Cats; NED ORDERS: GET CARTER.

Byline: Jackie CAHILL

KILKENNY county board chairman Ned Quinn wants Charlie Carter back on the county panel despite the player's decision to step down.

Team captain Carter informed officials yesterday morning that he's walking away from the intercounty scene, frustrated by a lack of first team opportunities.

But Quinn insists the next few days will be crucial as he attempts to persuade Carter to change his mind.

He explained: "I was informed by my county secretary at 10.30 am that Charlie had decided to quit the panel.

"I put a call through to Charlie, he rang me back and we had a long chat - I said I'd contact him again."

But Carter was insistent yesterday that there's no going back on his decision.

He didn't stick around on Saturday night after the Cats had beaten Dublin at Nowlan Park, immediately fuelling speculation about his future; speculation that has been rife all year.

There have been repeated reports of a major rift between the Young Irelands star and Kilkenny boss Brian Cody and although Kilkenny deny this, there's surely no smoke without fire.

A crest-fallen Carter told Mirrorsport: "Enough is enough, I made my mind up over the weekend.

"The appetite is going and it's time to call a halt.

"Not getting a game on Saturday didn't help matters but it's a culmination of a lot of things," the 32-year-old added.

"There's more to life than hurling - it's not even getting a game, the hunger was being bled slowly out of me."

Carter will continue to play club hurling but his decision to quit the county has been greeted with uproar among supporters.

A source close to the player revealed: "This will only do damage to Kilkenny and will favour other teams.

"Everybody knows there's something going on and everybody knows he should be on the team."

Cody refused to comment on the situation but Carter's club and county team mate DJ Carey said: "It's a shock and we really didn't foresee this happening.

"The media and public will always presume and pursue something but hopefully it's not the end of Charlie yet. We all retire now and again," smiled the nine-time Allstar.

"Ever since Charlie came on the scene he's been lethal, very accurate and a great striker of the ball."

Carter was appointed Kilkenny captain after Young Irelands won last year's county championship.

And the Topoil rep put in a fierce effort over the winter months and early in the year to have himself in tip-top condition for the league.

Carey nodded: "He was going well in January and February but then he got a bad dose of flu and missed two or three matches.

"He didn't have a real consistent run with injuries and sickness and he had an ankle problem last week.

"He wasn't at training on Monday night but that wouldn't mean an awful lot, we only had half a team with the U21s in action and we'd all be missing every now and again."

Last week Cody added two new faces to his panel as the scrap for places intensifies.

Ken Coogan, brother of Jimmy, and Jackie Tyrrell have been drafted into the senior set-up and will also form two-thirds of the half back line for tonight's clash with Offaly.

Carter's decision to walk away leaves a fresh void to be filled and marks the end of an intercounty career stretching back to 1990.

"I had a great time," he reflected. "I played in six All Ireland finals, won three and lost three, seven Leinsters, three Allstars and two county championships with Gowran.

"The highlight for Kilkenny was winning the 2000 All Ireland, I'd just like to thank everybody, the supporters have always been very good to me and gave me a great boost whenever I came on."

Carter Factfile

CLUB: Young Irelands AGE: 32 HEIGHT: 5ft 7' WEIGHT: 11st

JOINED PANEL: 1990

HONOURS:

3 AI senior medals

3 AI runners-up medals

7 Leinsters

1 U21 AI medal

1 minor AI medal

1 junior AI medal

3 Allstar awards

1 Railway cup 98

AI junior colleges medal 1987

2 Leinster junior medals

1 Leinster EUR21 medal

1 Leinster minor medal

1 Oireachtas, 2 NHL medals

CAPTION(S):

OUT: Cody hasn't included Carter, who has received support from DJ Carey; FED UP: Charlie Carter has been frustrated by a lack of first team action
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 11, 2003
Words:729
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