Stapleton backing Tipp
Recently-retired corner-back Paddy Stapleton believes that Tipperary are well-placed to launch a successful defence of their All-Ireland senior hurling title.
Stapleton was part of the team that stormed to Liam MacCarthy Cup glory in 2010 - but six years passed before another crown was secured.
The 31-year-old Borris-Ileigh man believes, however, that experiences of previous famines will serve to ensure that another long wait will not happen.
"You were working with a very inexperienced team in 2010 - Brendan Cummins, Lar Corbett, Eoin Kelly and John O'Brien all experienced 2001 but the vast majority of the players hadn't gone through those feelings and emotions," he said. "It's very easy to talk it into people but very hard to actually have those feelings, process them and come out the other side. The great thing is, an awful amount of our panel have seen 2010 and it's fresh in the minds of the young players, who weren't on the team then."
And Stapleton also believes that continuity is vital as Michael Ryan prepares for his second full season in charge. When Tipp won the All-Ireland in 2010, then manager Liam Sheedy stepped aside but Ryan is keen to achieve more at the helm.
Stapleton said: "The continuity of having Mick Ryan there is going to help and the backroom staff - they know what makes the players tick."