Last week saw the retirement of one of hurling’s most talented players, John Mullane, but already Waterford supporters are hoping that the talented corner-forward will once again appear in the blue and white jersey.
Deise followers may well be accused of wishful thinking but there have been many hurlers in the past who have announced their retirement only to perform a u-turn on their decision shortly after.
It is only last May that Lar Corbett returned to the Tipperary team just nine months after announcing his retirement from the inter-county set-up.
Brian Corcoran took a bit longer to grow weary of sitting in his rocking chair, retiring in 2001 at the age of 28 before making a dramatic return in 2004.
His second debut season is remembered for the point he scored from his knees after coming on as a sub against Limerick in the Munster final, and although Cork went on to lose the game, the season ended in success as Corcoran and his teammates went on to All-Ireland glory.
He won two more Munster titles and yet another All-Ireland title during the remainder of his second stint with the county, before retiring again November 2006 despite being earmarked for captaincy.
No doubt the door will be left open for Mullane to make a similar comeback and at only thirty-one years old it would not be beyond his physical capabilities to return even if a change of heart now seems unlikely.
“I’m a firm believer in when you’re gone, you’re gone. The next thing for me is to devote more of my energy to family life. I was training last year – doing hill work – and Eoin Kelly, Eoin McGrath and myself decided it was our last season. We would see the year out and that would be it,” he told RTE last week
Even if he never dons the jersey again, it’s unlikely that Mullane has seen the inside of a county dressing room for the last time.
His dedication and commitment are key ingredients in the makings of a good manager and they don’t fade like the energy does. He himself admitted that he’s already thinking about trying for glory from the other side of the touchline, saying “Whatever dressing room I end up in in the future, I feel I can bring a winning mentality with me.”