Sheedy: I always said this team would win All-Irelands

Sheedy: I always said this team would win All-Irelands

In September 2006 Liam Sheedy helped to deliver an All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship title for Tipperary. That same day Kilkenny claimed senior honours.

Four years on, the Portroe clubman was in seventh heaven having secured Tipp's first Liam MacCarthy Cup win since 2001 and halted Kilkenny's five in-a-row aspirations in the process.

"I am a proud Tipperary man," he proclaimed, in the aftermath of yesterday's 4-17 to 1-18 All-Ireland SFC final triumph.

"Ever since I got this job I said I'd give it 100% and at 3.15pm today, myself, Eamon (O'Shea) and Mick (Ryan) looked at each other and said, ‘no regrets, we've done everything, we've ticked every box and we are ready to play.'"

Sheedy shipped quite a lot of criticism this year, particularly when his Premier County side suffered at the hands of Cork in the Munster Championship in May. After watching Tipp turn the tables on the Cats, he spoke of the long road back from that early summer collapse, and answering those critics.

"People are entitled to their point of view but, thankfully, we are very good at turning negatives into positive in our group and we got an opportunity (to do so).

"They said I didn't win one (All-Ireland) as a player, so I guess I've won one as a manager now. That's something anyway.

"Since we had our poor match in Munster, people were very quick to point out what's wrong with this team. I'll tell you one thing today, it's about time they sat back and pointed out what's right. There are an awful lot of right things going on in that Tipperary dressing room.

"They know when they don't perform. It hurts them, it eats them inside and it puts it up in their guts, in all our guts.

"It's all about how you react and driving it on again, picking it up and going to the next level. You couldn't have done it with 15 players. We needed 33."

Goals win games and Tipperary certainly learned their lesson from failing to raise a green flag in last year's decider. Yesterday they bulged the Kilkenny net on four occasions, with Lar Corbett claiming a memorable hat-trick.

Sheedy added: "We were shocked last year when we walked out of this stadium without scoring a goal because we have a lethal forward line that you'd always fancy to get goals.

"The amazing thing is all the pundits were saying Kilkenny will get two, three, four goals. Role reversal today lads."

The Tipp boss was full of praise for the 29-year-old Corbett.

"He's an amazing man. He really is an amazing man. The speed of the man. I don’t know if it's Thurles milk or what he was getting as a young fella, but his ability to find space and to run on to ball.

"His first catch...the first goal was a vital score for us. He just snatched it out of the sky.

"He's such a leader within that group. He's got huge experience. He was up here in 2001 as a young fella but he's no young fella now.

"There has been a lot of talk that this group lack leaders and I heard from someone last week that we were arrogant. This team doesn't do arrogance.

"This team is a young team. I always said this team would win All-Irelands. I told you I could never tell you when, but I'm delighted it's today.

"There's five of them that are playing Under-21 next weekend and there's eight or nine of them from the U-21s last year. They're coming and we have the old experienced heads around here as well."

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