League opener against Waterford is the priority for Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea

Despite preparing this week for a Waterford Crystal Cup final against Clare Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea’s focus is on the Premier’s opening Allianz National Hurling League clash with Waterford on Saturday, February 15th in Semple Stadium.

Despite preparing this week for a Waterford Crystal Cup final against Clare Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea’s focus is on the Premier’s opening Allianz National Hurling League clash with Waterford on Saturday, February 15th in Semple Stadium.

“I’m concentrating on two weeks’ time. The heat will come on in June. It’s just freezing now. I can’t take any more wetting,” Eamon O’Shea told the Tipperary Star in the wake of Tipperary’s fourteen-point Waterford Crystal Cup semi-final win over a poor University of Limerick side at Dr Morris Park on Sunday afternoon.

“The big concentration I have is on the league match in two weeks’ time. I just hope we will have enough bodies to line out in that game. That’s the focus and to be quiet honest with you I’m not really focused on next weekend,” Eamon O’Shea added.

“When you are in a final you try to win it, but the big game for me is Saturday week against Waterford. The league is very competitive and we are looking forward to that.”

Sixmilebridge will host the Waterford Crystal Cup final between Tipperary and Clare on Friday, February 7th (throw-in 7.30pm).

The All-Ireland champions have been in impressive early season form beating Limerick (1-14 to 0-11) and UCC (2-28 to 1-4) en route to the final.

Indeed, David Fitzgerald’s Clare also enter the final as defending champions. This time last year Clare beat Tipperary 1-21 to 1-13 in Thurles to claim the Waterford Crystal Cup.

Tipperary, however, last won the Waterford Crystal Cup in 2012 when beating Clare 1-21 to 2-12 in Sixmilebridge.

“We have a few injuries,” Eamon O’Shea said as he reflected on knocks picked up by Drom & Inch duo Séamus Callanan and David Collins.

“This time of the year you get injuries in this kind of weather and with the training that we are doing.

“We’ve had a few matches as well so we’re looking forward now to playing on Friday night against Clare. That’s just the next day for us.

“It’s good to get into the final. It will probably be a help to us to play a few more games against some of the major teams, but I’m happy; we are doing what we can.”

Tipperary have played a whole series of challenge games in tandem with competitive outings this season which has allowed the management team to assess the potential of up to forty players.

“Yeah, we wanted to do that and to give everybody a fair chance,” Eamon O’Shea told the Tipperary Star.

“All teams are carrying a huge squad at this time of the year. It’s about getting a look at some of the players and the lads who came in did their best today and I’m happy for them really,” O’Shea explained.

“Their attitude is good. There are only small margins between the teams so if we can maintain a good attitude we will always have a chance. They are all working really hard and that is what I can say is very positive about the team. We’re working hard and we’re trying to do things right. That’s all you can ask for at this time of the year.

“The weather is terrible and you can’t play real hurling at this time of year.”