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WE CAN KEEP TIPP TOP; GAA HURLING; John confident exodus is over.

Byline: PAT NOLAN

JOHN O'DWYER is satisfied that the Tipperary exodus has halted ahead of the 2016 campaign.

In the space of less than a week last month, James Woodlock, Conor O'Mahony, Shane McGrath and Lar Corbett all announced their retirements from county hurling as the team looks set to take on a different complexion next year under new boss Michael Ryan.

O'Dwyer shouldn't be going anywhere any time soon with the talented 24-yearold having emerged as a mainstay of the Tipp attack in the last three seasons, and the Killenaule man, right, doesn't foresee any further retirements with Ryan having named a 40-man winter training panel.

He said: "The rest of the squad is fairly young, a lot of younger players coming through so I can't see any more retirements out of the squad.

"I kind of had a fair idea about one or two. They're going to be savage losses but we've plenty of young lads coming that are going to step up to the plate."

The most high profile of the four retirees is undoubtedly 2010 Hurler of the Year Corbett, whom 'Bubbles' speaks highly of.

"Lar was always there. He'd always be very busy with his club. He's always good to have around, a very good voice in the dressing-room and stuff like that and on the field he's a great man to give you advice and all of that sort of stuff.

"He was massive. As he said himself, he has no problem in saying he had his couple of injuries but from the mid-2000s, 2008 onwards, he turned into an unbelievable hurler.

"His goal scoring record kind of talks for itself. When he put his head down, he turned into one of the most lethal forwards in Ireland for three or four years. He's 34 or 35 now so he's been around a long time and he's given a lot of service to Tipperary hurling."

Ryan has already achieved something of a coup by securing the services of Steven O'Brien, who had turned out for the county footballers in recent years, for nsho c for next year while Noel McGrath should be back firing on all cylinders after his cancer scare this year.

O'Dwyer continued: "That was obviously a shock to all of us. But Noel got himself right and he came on against Galway. The result didn't go our way but it was great to see that man get back onto the field and to have him for the start of the year will feel like a new player. He's one of the biggest leaders on our panel."

Although Tipp won the Munster title this year, O'Dwyer reflects on 2015 with regret.

"It was disappointing generally. We won one Munster title so we were happy with that. We were disappointed then with the way we played against Galway, we feel we kind of let ourselves down.

"It's all over and done with now. It's onto 2016 and that's forgotten about now. So onto the new year."

irishsport@trinitymirror.com

CAPTION(S):

PAST AND PRESENT Tipperary star John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer and, below, Corbett, McGrath, O'Mahony and Woodlock

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Dec 10, 2015
Words:523
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