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Looking after No 2: How the assistant's role has become key in modern backrooms

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Donie Buckley, who is regarded as one of football’s most gifted minds, likes room to operate as part of a coaching ticket. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Donie Buckley, who is regarded as one of football’s most gifted minds, likes room to operate as part of a coaching ticket. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Donie Buckley, who is regarded as one of football’s most gifted minds, likes room to operate as part of a coaching ticket. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

It is often said that behind every great man is a great woman and a similar theory has become prevalent in GAA circles this century with every great manager flanked by a great coach.

The No 2 is now as important as the boss with the likes of Eamon O'Shea (Tipperary hurlers, 2010 and '19), Paul Kinnerk (Clare and Limerick hurlers, '13 and '18) and Jason Sherlock (Dublin footballers, '15-'19) paid huge credit for recent All-Ireland triumphs.

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Tipperary boss Liam Sheedy with assistants Michael Ryan (L) and Eamon O’Shea (R). Photo: David Maher / Sportsfile

Tipperary boss Liam Sheedy with assistants Michael Ryan (L) and Eamon O’Shea (R). Photo: David Maher / Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Tipperary boss Liam Sheedy with assistants Michael Ryan (L) and Eamon O’Shea (R). Photo: David Maher / Sportsfile

It's hardly a new phenomenon either with Paul Grimley (Armagh, 2002), Paddy Tally (Tyrone, '03) and Rory Gallagher (Donegal, '12) assisting in Sam Maguire glory, while many others paved the way for the increased importance of the coaching position.