FORMER national director of hurling Paudie Butler believes that Tipperary have struck gold with the appointment of Paudie O'Neill as the county senior team's new coach.
The arrivals of O'Neill and assistant manager Michael Ryan, a former selector from 2008-2010, to work alongside manager Eamon O'Shea have been widely acclaimed in Tipperary.
The appointments of O'Neill and Ryan were officially confirmed on Tuesday evening and in O'Shea and Ryan, Tipp have two-thirds of the management team that masterminded All-Ireland senior glory in 2010.
Butler described O'Neill's involvement as "a delightful surprise" and explained: "I taught him in school at St Peter and Paul's in Clonmel back in 1971. I taught his brothers Seamus and Terr too. That's going back a bit."
Butler also oversaw the early development of O'Neill's playing career with the local St Mary's club.
O'Neill went on to represent Tipperary hurlers in the minor and U-21 ranks, while also playing senior for Dublin.
O'Neill, principal of St Colmcille's National School in Knocklyon, Dublin, also played for Tipperary at all levels in football.
In recent years, he has been heavily involved in coaching roles with Ballyboden St Enda's and in 2011, O'Neill took charge of the Ballyboden team that contested the county minor hurling final.
Butler recalled: "Paudie was top calibre. He's very clued in and has been a big influence in Ballyboden, as a hurling club and a hurling force.
"He'll bring a high intelligence to the Tipperary job. He's a fierce student of the game."
Butler, a former Tipperary minor and Laois senior team boss, is pleased with the make-up of the new Tipp senior management team.
He added: "That's the way we should be going. Paudie has a fierce capacity for work and is a highly successful person in every area that he deals in."
The search for the team's new physical trainer continues, meanwhile, and will be announced next month.
It is also understood that new manager O'Shea will conduct one-to-one meetings with Tipperary players in the first two weeks of November, before finalising a provisional panel for 2013.