Liam Sheedy concludes second tour of duty as Tipperary manager

Waterford boss Liam Cahill would be favourite to take over if available

Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy has stepped down from his post. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy has stepped down from his post. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

 

As befits a meticulous organiser Liam Sheedy’s timing has been impeccable. He served his first three years in charge of the Tipperary hurlers, taking them slowly but methodically through league and provincial titles, an All-Ireland final appearance and a year later the fireworks of the 2010 final when he delivered the Liam MacCarthy Cup – and a couple of weeks later, tipped his hat and left.

His second tour of duty was meticulously planned. He arrived after two blank years in terms of championship success, culminating in a failure to progress from the Munster round-robin.

What was expected of him was simple: to win back the All-Ireland. He achieved that, even if the surprise elimination of Limerick by Kilkenny played a part in the success, but Sheedy had left nothing to chance in the preparation of the team.

He had spoken about the increased demands of the intercounty game when resuming the reins in 2018, compared with his first involvement a few years previously: how he now needed two minibuses for the backroom team rather than one.

He managed to coax long-term associate Eamon O’Shea back to play a role in coaching along with Tommy Dunne and selectors, Darragh Egan and Eoin Kelly.

Tipp were very well prepared for the 2019 championship and their fitness and conditioning were obvious when beating Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. They stormed to the provincial final but – in a foreshadowing of what was to come – were overwhelmed by Limerick.

Sheedy rehabilitated them successfully and after a testing All-Ireland semi-final against Wexford when reduced to 14, they qualified to play old rivals Kilkenny and won well.

In the past couple of years, they have again lost to Limerick and July’s Munster final saw effectively their last stand: a coruscating first half, leaving them 10 ahead only for Limerick to rear up and deliver a major comeback performance.

There had been comment on the attachment to a number of established players but that loyalty had been justified in the 2019 All-Ireland, for which Pádraic Maher, Brendan Maher, who retired last week, and Noel McGrath all won All Stars, as did captain Séamus Callanan, who was at last after several nominations named Hurler of the Year.

The irony in Sheedy’s final match is that Waterford, who defeated Tipp in the All-Ireland quarter-final, are managed by Liam Cahill, who was the main challenger to Sheedy for the Tipperary job back in 2018.

If he is in a position to leave Waterford the local sentiment is that he can have the Tipperary job, his currency only appreciating after two years in the southeast.

He also has the backdrop of having led his county to underage All-Ireland titles at under-21 and after the age limit was revised, under-20. That would be a useful connection, as the new manager is going to have initiate a major renovation.

In Tipperary there is gratitude and respect for Sheedy, who led the county to two All-Ireland titles and was a senior hurler with the county in the 1990s.

Now 51, he currently works for consultancy firm Teneo, who are the county sponsors but who are thought likely to conclude the sponsorship on his departure.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.