Creedon aims to use inside knowledge for Laois' benefit
Match preparation is almost a fine art at this stage with statistics, DVD footage and profiles of opposition players sought by managers the length and breadth of the country, but it's unlikely Laois football boss Peter Creedon will need to do much research this week.
Such is his encyclopedic knowledge of Tipperary football after spells in charge of the Premier's minor (2003-2006), U-21 (2006-2008) and senior sides (2012-2015), Creedon only needs to delve inside his own head to study Saturday night's Allianz League Division 3 opponents.
While Liam Kearns took the plaudits in 2016 as Tipp scorched to their first All-Ireland semi-final appearance in 81 years, Creedon is credited with paving their way to success and the Cork native is held in high regard by the Tipp football fraternity.
All friendships will be put aside in O'Moore Park this weekend, however, as the Coláiste Dún Iascaigh (Cahir in Tipperary) principal aims to help Laois wrestle two points away from a side which he has helped cultivate for the past decade.
"I've worked with all of the Tipp players, many of them for nearly ten years, so they'll be trying to get one over on me and I'll be trying to get one over on them. We'll go at it hard for the match and then shake hands after," Creedon said.
"I wasn't one bit surprised at Tipp's emergence, they'd been knocking on the door in previous years. There's huge talent within that squad, they'll be hoping to push on and will be a huge challenge on Saturday night.
"I'd be hoping Tipp will do very well in the league and push on in the Munster Championship but on Saturday night I'll be planning the best performance for Laois.
"If we allow them time and space to play they will hurt us but if we bring a real intensity and cut down their space, and bring that attitude to the game then we won't be afraid of Tipp. We'll go out to win the game and make sure we're in with a fighting chance with ten minutes to go."
Kevin Meaney and Kieran Lillis both miss out after picking up knocks and Brendan Quigley is at least six weeks away from a return as they bid to back up their victory over Armagh in a division which Creedon expects to "go right to the wire".
With Congress overlapping with Saturday's tie, Creedon hopes to see new championship proposals get the green light.
"Every county should be aiming to be in the last eight and that's a realistic goal for Laois. If you get there you'd be guaranteed three matches and one at home so it'd be fantastic. People will say the top four will come through regardless but the exposure for players would be fantastic. It's a great idea. I'd be all for it."