Tommy Walsh: Padraic Maher should play at full-back
Former Kilkenny hurler Tommy Walsh believes that Padraic Maher's future for Tipperary might be at full-back.
It has been a tumultuous week for Tipp, including a total media blackout following Sunday's Championship defeat to Limerick. Tommy thinks that Maher has all the skills to be able to thrive in the position, and went into some depth with Ger and Eoin on OTB AM as to why.
"Paudie Maher is at centre-back - I would be putting Paudie Maher at full-back.
"I think that is where the confidence seems to be draining out of the team - if the ball goes in long into the full-back line, they are already missing Mickey Cahill and Cathal Barrett.
"I was at the league final, behind the goal in the new stand at Nowland Park, and when Tipperary were in trouble in the last ten minutes, they put Padraic Maher at full-back. If you can think of it, most of the ball goes into the full-forward line. Have your best player in there, clearing ball like Brian Lohan, Rock, Noel Hickey or Dave McInerney - if it was me, I would be having Padraic Maher back at full-back."
On his specific role within the full-back position, Tommy was clear that Maher does not have the positional discipline to fulfil a man-marking role.
"I would not be putting Padraic Maher on a man-marking job, because he is what I call a baller. He goes after the ball the whole time. He is not going to be following a man and keeping him out of the game. He's not a sticky man-marker.
"I would be leaving him at full-back so he can launch attack, after attack, after attack. When the balls come in - high or low - he is brilliant. He is a great man to read the ball. If he concedes a few points, no problem."
Tommy has personal experience of coming up against Maher in the full-back post, and he was suitably impressed.
"I think it was 2009, in his first year at Tipperary, he played against us in league finals and All-Ireland finals. He was a brilliant full-back that year. You're robbing Peter to pay Paul.
"I would love to see him at 7 - that is his home. He can read the game best from there.
"I would love to see him there if all things were right, but in this current situation it would give a little bit of confidence back to this Tipperary team."
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