Tipp happy to bide time in hunt for new manager
TIPPERARY officials insist they will not be rushed into picking a successor to All-Ireland-winning hurling manager Liam Sheedy, despite growing urgency about the appointment.
And it is understood that their priority, increasingly, is finding someone who comes with a high-quality back-room team already in place, rather than simply appointing an individual high-profile manager.
It is understood that they are looking for someone who is offering them a complete management package, and that was certainly a strong feature of Tipp's outgoing management team of Sheedy, coach Eamonn O'Shea, selector Michael Ryan and trainer Cian O'Neill, who all stepped down as a unit following their All-Ireland success, citing work commitments as the reason behind the exit.
With Nicky English having ruled himself out of becoming the next Tipp boss, Tommy Dunne, Declan Ryan and Declan Carr are still considered the front runners.
And though former manager Ken Hogan -- who led Tipperary's U-21s to All-Ireland glory this year with Dunne as team coach -- has already ruled himself out of the running, it is believed that he may still be among their targets. "We've considered a number of people on a priority basis and we're in discussion with a particular nominee at the moment," said Tipperary chairman Barry O'Brien.
He said the appointment will be made before the end of November "but we have no definitive date, we're not rushing the process.
"We're giving everyone who showed an interest the opportunity to consider it," O'Brien added. "We want to make sure whoever takes the job is a suitable candidate, wants to do the job and has the time and the expertise."
The committee charged with finding Sheedy's replacement consists of the county chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, treasurer and PRO, plus Tipperary's four divisional chairmen.
Tipperary hurling suffered another blow yesterday when Declan Fanning announced his retirement.
The Killenaule clubman (31), who made his SHC debut against Limerick in 2004, said he had never worked with a "more committed management team or group of players" as he did under Sheedy this year.
Elsewhere, there is speculation locally that back-to-back county champions Thurles Sarsfields could yet submit an appeal on behalf of former county player Ger 'Redser' O'Grady in a bid to have him available for their upcoming Munster SHC semi-final against Limerick champions Kilmallock.
O'Grady missed last weekend's county final because he picked up an eight-week ban from their semi-final victory over Toomevara.
But it is believed that Sarsfields are now contemplating an appeal against the severity of O'Grady's suspension, in the hope that it might be shortened and get him back in time to boost their bid for provincial glory.