The View: Tipp management re-appointments are very welcome

Noel Dundon


Noel Dundon


Michael Ryan

Michael Ryan and his management team pictured during the disappointing league final.

To have changed managements in both the senior hurling and senior football codes would have been a disaster for Tipperary. 

With the success of the Dublin footballers last Sunday, GAA coverage in the national press has been more or less dominated by the three-in-a-row achieved by Jim Gavin's men. Rightly so too, you might say, and fair play to the Dubs for their achievement - it is no mean feat at all.

However, locally here in Tipperary, the news that Michael Ryan is to remain on as Tipperary senior hurling Manager, and that his football counterpart Liam Kearns is to do likewise, is the news we wanted to, and need to, hear.

To have had a change in either code would have been very upsetting to the structures established over the last few seasons and no matter how seemly the changes would have been, there would still have been an unsettling period as players get to know new management members etc.

So, at least we have been spared this upset and the managements and players can now get on with the job of moving Tipperary forward from the 2017 position. The County Board officials  deserve kudos for their swift actions in this regard, even if ratification is only due next Tuesday at the monthly Board meeting.

Tipp football Coach, Liam Kearns.

The footballers will be hoping that Liam Kearns enjoys an injury free run with his squad members. The players achieved promotion this year to Division 2 and staying in that division will be a real challenge. Every time they take to the field, it will be a massive test for Tipperary and that's where Liam and his management will learn most about the players they have at their disposal. The closing stages of the county championship will be watched very closely as Liam scours the county in a bid to unearth a few more players to freshen up the set-up, and they will also be hoping that a few of those who enjoyed their wanderlusting over the last season may return to Ireland and throw in their lot with Tipp. 

It's noticable that a number of Tipperary's standout players have a lot of mileage on the clock - Robbie Kiely and Brian Fox for instance. They have been incredible leaders for Tipperary and still will be. But, others need to take on the mantle too and that's what Liam Kearns will be looking for when they return to training in the coming weeks.

As for the hurlers, Michael Ryan and his men will be doing likewise and they will be redoubling their efforts to win back the Munster and All-Ireland silverware relinquished this year. A season which promised so much early on, ultimately left us empty handed. What are the lessons to be learned from this? How can things be shaken up from last season? Where can the extra percentage of improvement be found? These are the questions which the management team will be asking themselves - and many more besides too. They will question everything in their set-up in a bid to find the extra morsel of improvement needed. But, they will know too that they were only a puck of a ball away from retaining the All-Ireland. The margins were so minute but the difference between the 2016 and 2017 seasons so massive.

In terms of finding players, a few may well have caught the eye. However, the reality is that in the modern game, if a player has not been knocking around the inter county scene, it will take some time to get up to speed. A player coming in cold to a strength and conditioning programme will require at least a year to see the benefits - in other words, patience will be required and if management decide on bringing in a player, they must keep the faith for a time. 

This senior hurling management team has shown tremendous courage through their tenure and their standards must be adhered to by all around them. There cannot be any slippage allowed because that's where the percentages are lost.

It's great to see Liam Cahill taking on the u-21 position too alongside Michael Bevans, while another Toomevara man, Tommy Dunne is returning to the u-17 grade - bringing Tommy back into the fold is one of the smartest moves that Tipperary have made. The benefits of his top-class coaching will be seen in years to come.