Tuesday 23 July 2019

Sheedy hopes to have spine of Premier outfit nailed down by end of league

Tipperary hurling boss Liam Sheedy. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Tipperary hurling boss Liam Sheedy. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Consistency is something every sportsperson craves and Tipperary hurling boss Liam Sheedy has made that the foundation by which the Premier will build from this season.

A league final hammering at the hands of Kilkenny saw the wheels come off the Tipp wagon last year after much early promise, with Michael Ryan subsequently resigning after they finished without a victory in the Munster SHC.

Sheedy won the league in his first season as Tipp boss the first time around - their last league crown in 2008 - and craves consistency, although he knows the race for Liam MacCarthy is the acid test.

"I'd be very happy with the belief that exists within the group that Tipperary, on their day, if they play to their potential, can get to the level of any other team.

"The challenge for all other teams is to do it consistently," Sheedy told the 'Midland Tribune'.

"That inconsistency was ultimately Tipperary's undoing in 2018.

"We'll give the league the respect it deserves. We certainly won't be going out to not try things and learn.

"We need to be ready to go for the championship because that is really where everyone is measured on."

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The 2010 All-Ireland-winning boss has 28 of his 40-strong squad in full training and had no hesitation in saying that he feels the Premier men were "behind the curve physically over the last few years".

The Portroe native admits they were a bit "leggy" during their Munster League defeat to Clare two weeks ago due to a heavy training schedule under new strength and conditioning coach Cairbre Ó Cearraláin.

Sheedy, who named star forward Seamus Callanan as captain earlier this week, with Noel McGrath as vice-skipper, gets a chance to make amends against the Banner men in Thurles this Saturday evening during their Division 1A opener (7.0).

Settling on the spine of the team is a major goal by the league's conclusion and he hopes to have 12 or 13 place nailed down by then with question marks hanging over the central berths in their defence.

"The spine of the team is really important to get right. We have talent. There is no position that I look at and say that I don't have somebody that would fit into it if we had everyone available," the 49-year-old said.

"When you lose a match and concede four goals, I can honestly say that these boys really want to represent their clubs and county really well.

"Whatever they achieve in 2019, it won't be for the lack of effort."

Irish Independent

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