Hurler Cahal Carvill comes to the end of the road with Armagh
CAHAL Carvill, the man who led Armagh to their highest ever League position in hurling, has retired from the inter-county game.
The former Ireland shinty international was the skipper of the Armagh side that won promotion to Division 2A in 2016 and was also at the forefront of the Orchard county's Nicky Rackard Cup victories in 2010 and 2012.
With his club Middletown Na Fianna, Carvill completed a three in-a-row in Armagh last year and went on to win the Ulster Intermediate Championship crown before bowing out to Cork's Kanturk in an All-Ireland semi-final. But with his 31st birthday on the horizon and his free time increasingly limited, the Belfast-based solicitor said the time had come to make a difficult decision.
“In terms of how I feel physically and mentally I'm well fit to continue,” he said.
“I was keeping my place, it wasn't as if I was on the periphery of the team and making an impact off the bench; I was still able to start.
“But it got to the stage with work and with my personal life where I had to make a decision as to what my priorities were at this stage of my life.
“I've been with Armagh for about 13 years and I've also played with Middletown in football and hurling over those 13 years. I played for the footballers in the county as well for a time so I've been playing for at least three teams the whole time.
“I still want to play for the club, so I thought now was the right time for me to move on and let some of the younger players come through.
“It wasn't a decision I took lightly, but with the run Middletown have been on – we've done three in-a-row in Armagh and went to an All-Ireland semi-final this year against Kanturk, it has been a long three or four years. I live in Belfast so it's two hours to training and then train for two hours and back down the road…
“It all mounts up, so I felt that it (retirement) was the decision for myself.”
Carvill returned to the county jersey to do his bit in Armagh's fight for survival in Division 2B. His last game was a three-point loss to Donegal and he missed the relegation play-off loss to Derry. Since then he met with the county management and came to the decision that his time was up.
“I have other interests that I'm involved in and I gave commitments to people that I would become more involved in them,” he said.
“I didn't want to be in a position where I was giving anything less than 100 per cent to anything I did.
“If I was to stay with the county I feel I would only have been going through the motions and I wouldn't want to let the rest of the players or the management down by doing that. I felt it was the right time for me to step away.”