Tuesday 27 September 2016

Cahill slams Tipp's former stars for 'failing' underage teams

Jackie Cahill

Published 02/09/2015 | 02:30

'When I was given this job a year and a half ago, when I looked for past county players to come on board, a lot of them weren’t prepared to grasp the nettle'
'When I was given this job a year and a half ago, when I looked for past county players to come on board, a lot of them weren’t prepared to grasp the nettle'

Liam Cahill believes that a number of former Tipperary hurlers have "failed" the county by refusing to get involved in the coaching of underage teams.

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Cahill has revealed that he approached a number of ex-Premier County stars for assistance after taking over as Tipp minor manager and was taken aback when his advances were rebuffed.

Former All Star forward Cahill endured a difficult first season in charge last year as Tipp were knocked out of the Munster Championship by Clare, finishing with 12 players in Ennis.

But the straight-talking Ballingarry native absorbed some salient lessons and this year's crop won the Munster title before advancing to Sunday's Electric Ireland All-Ireland final against Galway at Croke Park.

Cahill said: "When I was given this job a year and a half ago, when I looked for past county players to come on board, a lot of them weren't prepared to grasp the nettle. "I felt that our past players in this county had failed us to an extent, bar the few that would step up at the moment.

"You have Declan Fanning and Paul Curran taking on coaching roles (at senior level).

"But I feel that the past players have failed us at the lower spectrum, at U-14, U-15 and U-16, that particular area where they're needed.

"I was very disappointed last year when I approached several players and they either had no interest or it intimidated them or they felt that they weren't competent enough.

"And these were fellas who had got so much from Tipperary hurling and who weren't prepared to put their heads on the block and give something back."

Cahill revealed that preparations for 2015 began three weeks after the Ennis defeat. Talks began with then county board chairman Sean Nugent, who then liaised with games development officers in the county before a plan was put in place to improve standards.

"We had to see what we could do in the short term to improve the situation and thankfully to date it seems to be working," said Cahill.

"The profile of underage hurling is back up to where it needs to be to get the results required to keep the conveyor belt coming.

"Twelve months ago this particular set-up and this grade had been on a real downer after two very poor performances against Limerick and Clare.

"So it's great to be back up the ladder and into an All-Ireland final.

"A lot of work and a lot of things had to change to get us to where we are today. More focus had to be put on underage hurling in the county as quickly as possible."

Irish Independent

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