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'It’s the elephant in the room the whole time if we’re really being honest about it'

Tipperary minor hurling manager Liam Cahill believes the time has come to address the Premier County’s dual stance.

Tipperary minor hurling manager Liam Cahill has spoken about the county's dual status.
Tipperary minor hurling manager Liam Cahill has spoken about the county's dual status.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

TIPPERARY MINOR HURLING manager Liam Cahill has reopened the dual debate in the Premier County – admitting that “it’s the elephant in the room.”

Cahill was asked about Ger Loughnane’s All-Ireland day comments when he suggested that some of the Tipperary players were footballers trying to be hurlers.

Cahill’s minor hurlers lost to Galway as his starting team featured five players who lined out against Kerry in the football decider a fortnight later.

Jack Skehan, who came on as sub in the hurling decider, was also full-back on the Charlie McGeever’s football team.

And Cahill hinted strongly on Tipp FM that he is against the dual experiment at minor intercounty level.

Gavin White and Stephen Quirke Dual player Stephen Quirke (13) was Tipp's minor hurling captain in 2015. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The former Allstar forward has been handed a fresh two-year term as Tipp minor hurling – with a review after the 2016 campaign.

But Cahill insists that he needs as much access as possible to his players in order to go one better next year.

Cahill said: “It’s the elephant in the room the whole time if we’re really being honest about it.

“The Tipperary public know exactly where my views are on it, even prior to the All-Ireland, at the start of last year.

“Ger Loughnane’s comments were hurtful to say the least but there could have been a lot in it too in the way our demeanour changed in the latter stages of that All-Ireland final, where we looked very heavy-legged and lethargic in a lot of the stuff we did.

“There’s definitely something in that that we need to look at in regard to the amount of players that are opting for both codes.

“There’s no place to hide in Croke Park, we found that out the hard way.”

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Cahill added: “My job is to get success and develop these players.

“To do that, to be honest, you have to have your players as often as possible.

Michael Bevans 19/11/2006 Toomevara's Michael Bevans is Tipperary's minor hurling team coach. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

“It’s the availability of these players, not the managing of their physical preparation or anything to that extent.

“It’s when you haven’t your players on a regular basis to get the message across that you need to get to be really competitive in the big stadium like Croke Park or Semple Stadium, when it comes to the real nitty-gritty of Munster championship and All-Ireland finals.

“That’s basically what happened towards the latter stages of the championship, where (coach) Michael Bevans had his players available to him for one training session, where collectively we could actually work on something together.

“I know if Brian Cody was told in Kilkenny that he’d only have his players for one session before an All-Ireland, there would be fair spitting on the hands and fair giving out done.

“I’m not comparing myself to Brian Cody or anything to that effect but to prepare a team properly, you have to have your players regularly.

“You have to be sowing the seeds, the proper message on a regular basis because unfortunately with minors, it’s a lot of repetitive stuff and it takes a while longer than the U21s or seniors for the penny to drop.”

Liam Cahill Liam Cahill during his playing days with Tipperary. Source: INPHO

A demanding run of dual fixtures caught up with Tipperary at the business end of the campaign, Cahill believes.

“I’m not saying we would have beaten Galway on the day but as the match kicked on we did seem to deteriorate a lot in our sharpness and ability to cover ground. We looked a bit lacklustre and lethargic.”

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