Bubbles: ‘Cynicism has been there since 1884.

Bubbles: ‘Cynicism has been there since 1884. It hasn’t come in the last two years’

John O’Dwyer is against the proposed black card and says ‘there’s nothing wrong’ with hurling.

Tipperary hurler John O’Dwyer at the announcement of Allianz's five-year extension of its sponsorship of the Allianz Football and Hurling Leagues.

Tipperary hurler John O’Dwyer at the announcement of Allianz’s five-year extension of its sponsorship of the Allianz Football and Hurling Leagues.
Image: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

JOHN ‘BUBBLES’ O’DWYER has returned to full training and is in the running to start against Waterford this weekend following his recent injury troubles.

O’Dwyer was stretchered off in a neck brace during Tipperary’s defeat to Cork at the start of February following a hefty second-half collision with Rebels defender Robert Downey.

Premier boss Liam Sheedy said after the game the forward was a “small bit concussed”, but O’Dwyer confirmed he did not suffer a concussion. He did lose feeling in his arm for a short period of time and was examined at a local hospital before he was cleared to return home.

“I got home at about 3 o’clock in the morning. I was in the neck brace for about maybe four or five hours. It was frustrating trying to go to the toilet, but all was good. No major injuries, it was pretty sore, but no concussions.

“I think it was just the way I landed more than anything else. I didn’t really lose consciousness, I felt a bit numb because I came down so hard, I lost feeling in my arm.

“That was about it, there was nothing major. I said it to the lads when I was lying on the pitch, ‘I’m perfectly fine’. The first thing I said was, ‘Is my helmet broke?’

“That is all I was worried about. It was just precaution by our doctor and by the Cork medical team, who were good enough to come in, to give a hand.”

And the helmet?

“It wasn’t broken thank God.”

john-oaedwyer-is-taken-from-the-pitch-by-medical-staffJohn O’Dwyer is taken from the pitch by medical staff during the Cork game.Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

O’Dwyer was scheduled to play against Galway a week later, but the game was called off due to the adverse weather conditions. He sat out last weekend’s win over Westmeath after undergoing minor surgery on his ankle.

“I got a little procedure done on my ankle last week, a top up on the operation from last year so I missed the weekend. I’m back training now so all is good.”

O’Dwyer is completely against the proposed introduction of the black card, which could come into rule at Congress this weekend.

“I don’t want to change the game because it’s still the best game in the world you know?

“It’s a field sport, it’s fast but bringing in the black card would, in my opinion, completely ruin the game because you have to have that pulling and dragging from a defender, you have to have that hard-hitting stuff.

“People are trying to take it out of the game you are losing your whole hurling aspect if you start bringing in these black cards, pink cards, whatever.

“It completely ruins the game and it is going to ruin the game. The game is perfect the way it is. I’d say leave the game the way it is and stop trying to change it if it’s not broke don’t change it.

The Killenaule clubman is frustrated the players haven’t been consulted on such a major change.


“If these decisions are to be made then why not bring in two top players from each county that competes in the hurling and ask their opinion on it,” he argues.

“They are trying to change something maybe just to have their name in a book saying that they made this rule change. To to me it’s nonsense and it should be just left the way it is.”

john-odwyer-and-jack-browneO’Dwyer takes on Clare’s Jack Browne during last year’s Munster championship.Source: James Crombie/INPHO

He disagrees that idea that cynicism has only come into hurling in recent years.

“No, cynicism has been there since 1884. It hasn’t come in the last two years, it’s always been there. If a forward is beating a defender he is going to pull him down, he is going to hit him. He’s going to do whatever he can to try and get on top of him and vice-versa for a forward.

“If he’s been getting the better off, he’s going to try and provoke that corner-back, centre-back or whatever.

“Cynicism hasn’t come in in the last few years, it’s always been there. It’s just been talked about more now because people are looking for something to talk about. Why not talk about the good aspects of the game?

“And promote the game in a good sense instead of trying to bring the game down. There’s already been so many changes made to football which in my opinion, again, are all the wrong changes.

“Why change hurling when there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s perfectly fine the way it is – leave it!”

Though the majority of the Tipperary set-up is identical to last season, Eoin Kelly has come on board as a selector in 2020. The legendary figure acted as free-taking coach during their run to the Liam MacCarthy Cup, imparting valuable knowledge to Seamus Callanan, Jason Forde and O’Dwyer in the campaign.

“Last year Eoin was there once a week, once every two weeks. But this year he’s after been given a selector’s role. He’s been good to have in the group. He’s such a positive fella then as well, and best of all he’s a good bit of craic as well.

“He would have gone through a lot of stuff with us. But the first thing he always says is that everyone’s technique is different.

“He just tried to explain that his technique changed over the years for injuries and stuff like this. Whatever about from frees, but from open play as well, just small little things that he might give you a bit of advice on and they’re invaluable.

“They’re the things, it might be an extra point or an extra pass in a game, and it might be valuable.”

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