Tipperary’s long-serving goalkeeper Paul Fitzgerald has announced his retirement from inter county football.
Paul, from Kiltinan, Fethard made his senior championship debut against Kerry in 2005, and has now decided to call time on his career in the blue and gold following a very successful season.
Tipperary enjoyed a fine year in Paul Fitzgerald’s final season, winning the Division IV league title and recording championship wins over Limerick, Longford and Laois before exiting the championship to Galway in Round 4A.
“But I’m still happy to go. I’ve had a decent career and this has been a decent year. I’d rather go on a good note rather than go when things are going bad. The one regret is that I didn’t get to a Munster senior final. I think I played in a Munster final in every grade – minor, U21, junior and two with the Fethard club.”
Senior goalie since 2005, winning the Tommy Murphy Cup with the county that season, while as stated above, won silverware in his final season, with Tipperary lifting the Allianz Football League Division IV title at Croke Park back in April.
“But the last few years have been the highlight, as we’ve become recognised as a good championship team. The National League is great but championship is where it’s at. The profile of Tipp football has been rising and sometimes, you have to gain respect outside your county before you get it inside. The thing has a bit to go yet but I’ve got to play with those young lads who won All-Ireland minor medals and see them emerge as leaders. And the friends you make, friends for life, are better than anything. I wish I was 17 again with some of these young players but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it – the highs and lows, the ups and downs.”
Honours: McGrath Cup 2003; Tommy Murphy Cup 2005; NFL Promotion Div 4, 2008; NFL Div 3 title 2009; Munster Minor Football 1995; 2 County SFC 1997, 2001; 3 Co SFL 2001, 2003, 2004; Railway Cup 2008; South Tipp Nationalist Award Footballer of the Year 2008.
Paul is a goalie of the highest calibre, ‘Man of the Match’ in the Tommy Murphy Cup Final in Croke Park in 2005. Was part of the Munster panel in the Inter-provincial Championships in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2013 Paul was on the Tipp Under 21 Teams 1997, 1998, Junior Team 2002, holder of McGrath Cup Medal in 2003. Also an accomplished Hurling Goalie for his Club Fethard.