Premier chiefs turn to All-Ireland-winning boss in bid to revive county's senior fortunes
Liam Sheedy is set for a sensational return as Tipperary hurling manager eight years after resigning in the wake of their 2010 All-Ireland SHC success.
In what is a significant coup for the Premier, it is expected that the 48-year-old's name will be recommended for ratification at Monday night's county board meeting to succeed Michael Ryan.
Ryan resigned last month in the wake of a disastrous season for Tipp which saw them finish the Munster round-robin stages without a win - they drew with Cork and Waterford - from their four games.
All-Ireland U-21-winning manager Liam Cahill and former All-Ireland-winning minor boss Willie Maher were the clear frontrunners to fill the vacancy until Sheedy became an 11th-hour candidate to take the role in recent days. The Portroe native is understood to have met with Tipp officials in the Horse and Jockey Hotel yesterday and will be confirmed as Tipp's next manager in the coming days.
No details of Sheedy's backroom team have been confirmed yet but the possibility of rekindling his old partnership with former coach Eamon O'Shea would set Tipp pulses racing ahead of the 2019 season.
Sheedy previously left the job just weeks after halting Kilkenny's 'drive for five' and leading Tipp to the promised land in 2010, a resignation which left shockwaves reverberating around the country. Citing increasing work commitments for his exit, Sheedy watched from afar as Tipp's expected dominance of the game never materialised as they collected just one more All-Ireland success, in 2016, over the next eight seasons. Sheedy has had fleeting involvements at inter-county and club and college level since departing the scene and was part of the Antrim hurlers' backroom team this season.
He was also heavily touted to replace Páraic Duffy as the GAA's director-general, a role which eventually went to Tom Ryan, and while his name is mentioned as a possible candidate for inter-county vacancies, a return was unexpected. With a role as pundit for 'The Sunday Game' combined with his high-profile job with Bank of Ireland, inter-county management looked out of the question, but a triumphant return to Tipp is on the cards.