Sheedy insists final loss is firmly in past
Published 26/01/2010 | 05:00
TIPPERARY manager Liam Sheedy has insisted that his players have fully exorcised the demons of last September's All-Ireland final defeat to Kilkenny.
A new season begins for Sheedy and his Munster champions this evening when the Premier County welcome defending champions Clare to Borrisoleigh for a Waterford Crystal Cup SH quarter-final (7.30).
The disappointment of the Kilkenny defeat still lingers in the minds of many spectators but Sheedy closed the door on last year's championship during the team's recent pre-season holiday to Los Angeles and San Diego.
"It's nice to get back into competitive action. For us, it's a chance to see some new players and that's what the new season is all about," said Sheedy.
"We're looking to build on 2009. That's over now and it moves on to 2010. We're back training since last Sunday week and the lads are as enthusiastic as ever and looking to give it their best shot.
"We'll face a stern challenge from Clare but with even more guys and young blood stepping up to the plate, we will have a more competitive environment."
Sheedy has already been impressed by the early efforts of the new additions to his squad -- namely David Young, Jody Brennan and Mikey Heffernan -- but there is some concern about a knee injury sustained by another new player, John O'Neill.
There is some speculation that the Clonoulty-Rossmore player, a member of the Thurles CBS Harty Cup and All-Ireland colleges-winning teams last year, may have to undergo surgery on cruciate knee ligament damage.
"At the moment it's very much a training panel," Sheedy said. "In the next two or three months we'll be taking a look at a lot of guys and everything is geared towards putting a league panel together and then our championship panel.
"I couldn't fault for one moment the commitment of the 2009 and 2008 panels but when you're involved with a group, you reassess and revisit. It's quite normal for every set-up to look to freshen up and these new lads will bring competition.
"And their attitude and effort has been top class."