FORMER All-Ireland winning captain Declan Carr is flattered to be linked with the vacant Tipperary senior hurling manager’s post.
Carr captained the Premier County to All-Ireland senior glory in 1991 and was in charge of the county’s U21s in 2008 and 2009.
Under his guidance, Tipp won the Munster U21 title in 2008 and contested that year’s All-Ireland final against Kilkenny.
But his tenure ended with the 2009 defeat to Waterford, a game which took place just days after a number of his players lined out in the provincial senior final against the Déise.
He admitted that Liam Sheedy and his management team’s decision to step down from the senior post shocked him, coming so soon after the gripping All-Ireland success against Kilkenny.
Carr reflected: “I was shocked like everybody else. The jobs the boys are in, with Liam and Michael Ryan working with banks, isn’t as conducive to hurling management as it was six or seven years ago.
“With the effort that Liam has put in over three years it hasn’t surprised me that it has come to this.
“Now, he has to pay attention to what’s putting food on the table for his family.
“We have turned the manager into too much of an important role, maybe overstated it slightly.
“Liam was never in anybody’s face, never on TV all day long, did his work methodically and was organised in everything he did. He never forgot anybody who did him a turn along the way.”
When asked if he would be interested in stepping into the senior hot-seat, Carr replied: “Of course I would love to be asked. It’s very flattering to be linked with such a great job. This is a bunch who have won an All-Ireland and if the template remains, there’s no reason why they can’t press on.
“It’s a huge opportunity for anyone, one of the most prized jobs in the country.”
Meanwhile, Thurles Sarsfields manager Michael Gleeson has backed 2001 All-Ireland winning captain Tommy Dunne for the top job. Gleeson worked alongside Dunne on the Tipp management team in 2007 when All-Ireland minor glory was secured.
The pair will lock horns on the touchline at Semple Stadium later this month when Gleeson’s Sars’ team face Toomevara, managed by Dunne, in the county senior hurling semi-final.
Gleeson said: “Tommy would be a good man for the job. He has experience and a great success rate. He’s a very professional, well organised in how he carries out his duties. He’s very determined and confident.”
Dunne, coach of Tipperary’s All-Ireland U21 winning team this year, is one of the leading contenders for the position vacated by Sheedy. Nicky English, who managed Tipp in 2001, will be approached by county board top brass but may have to turn the job down due to work commitments with AIB.
Another name mentioned in connection with the Tipp post last night is Richie Stakelum, a current Dublin senior team selector and manager of the county’s Leinster U21 winning team in 2010.
Stakelum captained Tipperary to Munster SHC success in 1987, a win which ended a 16-year famine.
However, sources close to the Dublin camp insisted last night that it would be a major surprise if Stakelum, based in the capital with Pfizer, took up a role with his native county. Stakelum recently committed to a fresh two-year term alongside boss Anthony Daly with the Dublin seniors.