By John Fallon IT’s NOT QUITE the life of a professional athlete but Tipperary hurler Ronan Maher is revelling in having taken a year off from study and work.The 22-year old graduated from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick last year and plans on going forward to do secondary school teaching next September, and in the meantime is enjoying concentrating on hurling.“My plan is to do secondary teaching so I’ve applied for a good few colleges for next year and please God one of them will offer me a position. I have an Arts degree from Mary I. I’m just taking the year out, chilling and concentrating on training.“I did my Leaving Cert when I was 17 and went straight to college and have been studying for the last four years and I wanted to take that break out and be fully tuned in going back to my post-grad, it’s a two-year course and I will be well prepared for that.“But I would have probably have taken the year out anyway if I wasn’t hurling and get the head back and refresh and concentrate on going back in.”The demands of underage hurling and the Fitzgibbon Cup have meant busy winters for the Thurles Sarsfields clubman, so the break from that has helped him as well.“From previous years I have been hurling club from U-21 up to Christmas and then you are brought straight back into Fitzgibbon and pre-season with the seniors. It’s a pretty hectic time of the year but I suppose this year I can concentrate on my county, do all the training, all the pre-season with them, all the fitness and all the gym.“It’s a big help, there are not teams pulling out of you here and there, you’re not trying to keep everyone happy and there is not as much pressure on you. It’s nice to concentrate on just the one team at the minute.”A loss away to Clare and a good home win over Waterford have set Tipperary up for Saturday’s showdown at Semple Stadium against Davy Fitzgerald’s high-flying Wexford.Maher was moved out to midfield against Waterford and revelled in the position, scoring 0-4 in the win, including a superb sideline.“I suppose naturally my favourite position is in the half-back line but I like the challenge of coming out midfield and I suppose the last few days it took a bit of getting used to but I thought I got on well and I came into as it went on and am getting used to it but you never know with Michael Ryan, you could be playing anywhere and that’s the challenge he gives you going out.“Wexford got off to a good start, they have two wins from two. They coming down to Thurles on Saturday night and it will be a tough challenge for us. They are physical, they are really fit and Davy has them in prime condition and we are awaiting the challenge.“They’re similar enough to Waterford with the running off the shoulder and they’re very fit at the minute. We have to track their runners and so on but we’ll concentrate on ourselves, on our own tactics, rather than dwelling too much on Wexford,” added Maher.The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Share92 Tweet Email2 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Feb 14th 2018, 10:01 AM 15 Comments https://the42.ie/3851072 Tyrone star Tiernan McCann ruled out for the rest of the league with broken kneecapPlaying in a Connacht final 10 days after appendix surgery and swapping New York for Corofin Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO 36,235 Views Short URL Follow us: the42.ie Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO Wednesday 14 Feb 2018, 3:05 PM ‘I’m just taking the year out, chilling and concentrating on training’ Tipperary defender Ronan Maher is focusing on hurling before he starts a post-graduate course in September.