Thursday 22 March 2018

Tipp's bright start proves culture good under Ryan

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan. Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile.
Tipperary manager Michael Ryan. Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile.

Ger Gilroy

Michael Ryan made people take notice when he said Tipp were still the team that everyone loved to beat the most, that they were almost Public Enemy No 1, when he gave his only interview before the league started.

Tipp hadn't played in the Munster league. There had been high-profile defections, the stars of their underage success haven't the medals their promise dictates they should have.

The lesson from recent league seasons is pretty clear. You can't win the All-Ireland during the league but if you allow a stink to set in it's almost impossible to wash off. Clare and Cork last season never found their rhythm after the league went awry.

Only maybe the Kerry footballers can really treat the league like an impostor, or maybe a team that's been on the road a long time like the final year of Jim McGuinness in Donegal. For everyone else you need the players to be buying in, and management's message to be clear.

Would Tipp be ready against a Dublin team who'd cantered through pre-season? Would the more direct style Ryan has championed mean their angles of attack were predictable? Would the team respond to a voice they've been hearing for a long time? After Tipp blew Dublin out on a sticky pitch with marshy long grass in horrible weather, we know that Tipp are giving themselves a chance again this season. No stink here.


Irish Independent

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