Tipp ‘team’ likely to stay on

TIPPERARY hurling physical trainer Cian O’Neill is optimistic the Premier playing and management staff will all commit for next season’s All-Ireland SHC defence.

There has been speculation highly-rated coach Eamon O’Shea may be unable to commit in 2011 due to work commitments in NUI Galway and O’Neill admits he is in the dark about his plans. O’Neill hopes to be involved again and lavished praise on O’Shea’s coaching abilities.

“I’ve no idea to be perfectly honest. That’s something I’m sure Eamon can talk about himself.

“The coach is the vital cog in any set-up in terms of what happens in training. In Eamon’s case, he’s a step above most coaches I’ve ever worked with and he’s a huge influence on the team and what happens at training. Hopefully he’ll be staying on this year and there won’t be any issue.

“It’s too early at this point for all decisions to be made. In general terms, and from speaking to a lot of people, particularly the backroom, everybody is very much interested in staying on but there is a protocol or a due process to take place.

“That will start with the management team and filter down to the backroom. Until that becomes official, there’s not a huge amount more I could offer. But if everything stays the way it is, I would love to be involved again, there’s no question.

“I wouldn’t dream of moving anywhere, if that was the desire of the county board and the management.”

“From a physical point of view, I wouldn’t expect any player to move on but I can’t legislate for what happens behind closed doors, family, kids and so on.

“But the panel that finished last season are capable of going on, each and every one of them, for another year, and maybe more.”

O’Neill is involved with Moorefield in the Kildare SFC and Monaleen in the Limerick SFC over the coming weeks but has relinquished his post as UL Sigerson Cup coach, with Jerome Stack, who led Feale Rangers to the 2007 Kerry SFC title, taking over.

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