Monday 19 August 2019

'Easier' fixture run has helped Tipperary this year - Sheedy

Manager Liam Sheedy. Photo: Sportsfile
Manager Liam Sheedy. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy feels he has benefited from a more benign fixture list in this year's championship than his predecessor Michael Ryan had to deal with in 2018.

Sheedy felt Ryan faced an impossible task playing four weekends running, having also had to cede his players to a number of weekends in April for club fixtures in the run-up.

This year Tipperary fixed just one round of club championship in April and they profited from that.

"What Tipp had to face last year versus how it was structured this year, I got the break - two matches, then a week off then another match then a week off. It really was much easier for me to time my run throughout the round-robin than it was last year with the four matches in a row and I think it has been proven since, it's impossible to play four matches in a row and still stay in the championship."

Sheedy, speaking at yesterday's press briefing ahead of the All-Ireland final, feels there is still much alignment needed before a balance is struck between club and county programmes.

"We have got to have a situation that facilitates counties and clubs to prosper. And there is a danger that it is lopsided at the moment.

"Does the club structure support what the county team is being asked to do and vice-versa. With the number of teams we have in Tipp at the moment, if your inter-county team is successful at senior and U-20, you then have to get back into a club scenario that has 30 teams vying for club championship. So I think there is more work to be done on fixtures but it should be done in view of trying to facilitate a meaningful fixtures programme for club and for county."

Meanwhile, Sheedy (left) has questioned the timing of the 'sweeper' debate that drew such a reaction on 'The Sunday Game' on the night of their All-Ireland semi-final.

GAA Newsletter

Expert GAA analysis straight to your inbox.

"Everyone has their own style in terms of what they decide to comment on after a match. Personally, the timing of it… if it was on after the match had been analysed I don't think it might have come in for such negative commentary.

"But look, Dónal Óg (Cusack) and Derek (McGrath) are two really, really strong hurling men. Everybody has their own style when they go in to the studio. You're encouraged to bring your own style, and be your own person.

"I really enjoyed my time in 'The Sunday Game' analysing. It certainly hasn't done me any harm in terms of staying close to the game, understanding the game and where it is moving."

Sheedy said teams have to remain adaptable to every situation.

"I play with six backs. If I play with six backs, is that a sweeper? Everybody has their own style of play. Ultimately, you're trying to set up your team, to structure your team to give yourself the best chance of winning. That's what we do, what every manager tries to do. It makes it a little bit intriguing.

"On any given day you're facing off against a different type of pattern or set-up. We would pride ourselves on our ability to be able to adapt."

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: Tipp throw off the shackles while Kilkenny’s soul-searching begins

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport