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Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019

Sheedy: 'Tipp couldn't have written the script better, I'd rather be Michael Ryan'

“If the players went up and lit up Croke Park, it would be very hard to keep them grounded for the next three weeks.”

Liam Sheedy celebrates Tipp's 2010 All-Ireland final win.
Liam Sheedy celebrates Tipp's 2010 All-Ireland final win.
Image: Cathal Noonan

LIAM SHEEDY SAYS he’d rather be standing in Michael Ryan’s shoes rather than Brian Cody’s ahead of Tipperary’s September 4 All-Ireland final clash with Kilkenny.

Sheedy, who guided Tipp to glory in 2010, believes that the Premier County “couldn’t have written the script better” ahead of another Liam MacCarthy Cup showdown with the Cats.

He suspects that if Tipp had cruised past Galway in last Sunday’s semi-final, it would have been difficult to stifle expectation levels in the county and keep players grounded.

But Sheedy reckons that coming through a tight encounter against the Tribesmen, and with plenty to work on, leaves Michael Ryan’s charges in an ideal position.

Speaking to Tipp’s FM’s Extra-Time show, Sheedy said: “I don’t think you could have written the script better.

“I know coming out of the weekend, would I rather be Michael Ryan or Brian Cody?

“I’d rather be Michael Ryan. If the players went up and lit up Croke Park, it would be very hard to keep them grounded for the next three weeks.

We have a habit in Tipperary of getting carried away with ourselves – that’s a fact.

“Munster was too easy for us, we had a five-week gap and we were coming up against a team that had gone toe-to-toe with Kilkenny for 50 minutes in the Leinster final.

“I don’t think anyone thought it was going to be easy but I thought the team showed great character at various stages in that game. They really had to dig in and dig it out.

“What I took out of the match is that this team showed an attitude and a mental strength that when the game was there to be won, they went on and won it, and that’s huge.

Noel McGrath and John O'Dwyer celebrate at the final whistle Noel McGrath and John O'Dwyer celebrate Sunday's victory over Galway. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

“The competition that exists – Niall O’Meara was withdrawn, Noel McGrath was withdrawn, John O’Dwyer came on, Jason Forde, Sean Curran.

“There’s competition not only in the squad to get on the 15 but on the 26.

“A number were disappointed they didn’t make the 26 but it sets it up for a really strong two weeks of training, really competitive to get a starting jersey and a seat on the bench, and see can you come in and play some part.

They used the motivation and hurt of last year to good effect when they needed to get over the line. That hurt and motivation would have stood to them and we have a few years of hurt built up from these boys from Kilkenny.”

Sheedy also revealed that he was worried about the Micheál Donoghue influence on last Sunday’s semi-final.

Donoghue spent two years working behind the scenes with Tipperary in 2014 and 2015 before taking the Galway job.

inpho_01081329 Galway manager Micheál Donoghue. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

And Sheedy said: “That would have been a concern of mine going into the game, he had an inside line on us.

“In any set-up, you’d be looking for where the strengths are and where are things vulnerable.

“Two thing stuck out – Darren Gleeson got very accustomed to picking out pinpoint passes and he singlehandedly destroyed Cork in the 2014 semi-final but Micheál had his homework done and had options covered.

“He put in Conor Cooney and Joseph Cooney on our corner backs (Cathal Barrett and Michael Cahill) and they did cause us problems in the air, Jason Flynn likewise. He (Donoghue) had the inside line on us which means that it was a slight advantage to him.”

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