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Kieran McGeeney won’t be with Tipp on Sunday but he’s still helped them in 2014

The Armagh football icon has been involved on the Premier hurling front.

Kieran McGeeney was part of the Armagh setup that lost to Donegal last Saturday Source: Presseye/Russell Pritchard/INPHO

KIERAN MCGEENEY WON’T BE part of the Tipperary match day setup for next Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling semi-final against Cork.

But that shouldn’t conceal the contribution the Armagh football icon has made to the Tipperary hurling squad this year.

McGeeney was invited to come on board at the end of last year by Premier manager Eamon O’Shea to fill an informal role where he could help players work on aspects of their mental preparation.

“He would talk to players individually, whoever wants to talk, but not collectively, it was never the plan,” revealed O’Shea. “My view is that he would be useful, he is a guy that I have admired in terms of his approach to the game and that the players might benefit from having a chat with him now and again and they have. I would chat to him as well, occasionally.”

Not all members of the Tipperary squad have dealt with McGeeney and O’Shea allows the players to decide themselves whether they want to sound out the 2002 All-Ireland winning captain.

“Players are very different, some players wouldn’t listen to a word I say, not a word, that’s the truth.”

Eamon O'Shea: 'Players are very different, some players wouldn't listen to a word I say' Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Belief

O’Shea insists that his belief in the Tipperary players never wavered despite the setback they suffered in the Munster championship against Limerick back in June.

“I just absolutely believed in them. There’s no relative, no caveat, I absolutely believe in the team, that’s what we are back. You are more wondering as a manager what you can do to get this right, more so than anything else.

“We are up against formidable opposition (next Sunday), Munster champions who have more form and consistency that us in terms of the match. It is a really big challenge to see how much belief we do have. We’ll have to be on our ‘A’ game to compete.”

‘We hadn’t planned for Plan B’ – Tipp selector on losing to Limerick and comparisons with 2010

POLL: Who’s your tip now to claim the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2014?

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