Thursday 25 May 2017

Evans hails Kearns' potential to drive Tipp to next level

ounty board chiefs are expected to give Kearns the green light in Thurles this evening
ounty board chiefs are expected to give Kearns the green light in Thurles this evening

Jackie Cahill

John Evans has hailed the "great appointment" of Liam Kearns as Tipperary's new senior football team manager.

Ex-Premier County supremo Evans recruited the services of his fellow Kerry native for the 2015 campaign with Roscommon and the Connacht outfit claimed promotion to Division 1 of the league. Evans has since left the Roscommon role and Kearns, the former Limerick and Laois boss, is now poised for a return to senior inter-county management with Tipperary.

A football board meeting ratified his appointment last night and county board chiefs are expected to give Kearns (above) the green light in Thurles this evening.

Kearns was in charge of the Limerick U-21 footballers when they won the Munster title in 2000, before contesting an All-Ireland final. And under his tutelage, the Shannonsiders contested Munster senior finals against Kerry in 2003 and 2004, losing the latter after a replay.

Kearns takes over Tipperary on the back of recent underage success, with an All-Ireland minor title annexed in 2011 before another All-Ireland final was contested in the same grade in September. Tipp have also been crowned Munster U-21 champions in 2010 and 2015 and were unlucky to lose against Tyrone in the All-Ireland final last May.

"It's a good appointment for Liam in that Tipperary have won an All-Ireland minor and have two Munster U-21s," said Evans, who managed the Tipp seniors from 2007-2012. "There's experience from the previous U-21 win and there's the new talent coming through. You have the two of them merging together with an experienced manager and I used the word experience in that Liam has been out of active duty for about eight years but in the meantime he's done a degree and when he came on board (with Roscommon) he was looking to gain experience as to the present situation. He would certainly be up to speed and he's a great appointment for Tipperary and the betterment of football."

Kearns recently completed a strength and conditioning degree from Setanta College and while he hasn't managed an inter-county team since leaving Laois in 2008, he managed Aherlow to Tipperary SFC glory in 2010.

"His strengths are that he's his own man, he's got knowledge from the practical and football sides of it," Evans added.

Scientific

"He has come up through Kerry football and he's also now added the scientific side through his strength and conditioning."

As for the county's hurling management, Michael Ryan is being tipped to unveil former team-mate John Madden as a member of his senior hurling backroom team at a county board meeting this evening.

Ryan will put forward his new set-up for ratification and Madden is the latest named to be linked with a key role. The Lorrha-Dorrha clubman, who managed North outfit Silvermines this year, won All-Ireland medals in 1989 and '91.

2010 All-Ireland medallist Declan Fanning is also on board, potentially as coach, in Ryan's new regime but it is understood former Kildare and Wexford football manager Jason Ryan will not be involved. Paul Curran and Kevin Fox have also been mooted as selectors alongside Michael Ryan.

Irish Independent

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