Tipperary’s 2010 All-Ireland winning manager has described it as “an honour and a privilege” to be asked by GAA president Liam O’Neill to head up the 10-person group who meet for the first time next week where they will learn their terms of reference. He stresses the game is not in need of “a complete overhaul” and insists change won’t be recommended for the sake of it.
However, he believes the committee can have a role in helping to raise the standard of hurling in developing counties as well as established ones who have struggled in recent times.
“In terms of a success story over the last number of years, Dublin coming to the top table has probably been it,” said Sheedy. “It’s how you avoid counties starting to go in the wrong direction and how you can strengthen them.
“Some counties are starting to see their fortunes and their overall performances going in the wrong direction, and if you could get more Dublins coming to the table that could only be good for the game.
“There are some small things with the game that are probably contentious. You just want hurling to be a spectacle that everyone is mad and anxious to watch. You want to make sure it continues to be in the rich space it is currently in. ”
Sheedy is joined on the committee by Michael Duignan, Ollie Moran, Ollie Canning, Paul Flynn, Pat Henderson, Pat Cullinane, Terence McNaughton and Veronica Curtin.
Former Tipperary and Munster PRO Ed Donnelly will act as secretary. Sheedy is certain the group are well positioned to put forward recommendations.
“I think everyone would agree this game is far from needing a complete overhaul. It’s in a very good place.
“Successful organisations always look at what can be tweaked and changed to make improvements. I think obviously once we get an understanding of what’s on the agenda (we’ll know more).
“It won’t be my views but the views of everyone and the committee. It’s an honour and a privilege to take on a very important role.
“There’s been a really good committee selected with people that have played the game at the highest level and have had a massive involvement in various administration roles and actively involved in post primary and primary school games. The one thing you will get from the committee is a good, honest opinion and we’ll be seeking the opinions of the wider audience around the country.
“Everyone of us has an absolute love for the game of hurling. That’s the common theme that runs through all of us and if there is something that comes up regularly with the various people we engage with and we feel it’s something to act on then we will propose a recommendation.”
Sheedy is loath to compare the group’s forthcoming work with that done by the Eugene McGee’s Football Review Committee.
“It’s too early to say. I’m not comparing. Football and hurling are not really similar in a lot of ways. The football committee were given their piece to do and the black card looks to have made a positive impact of the league.
“Change sometimes is okay provided it’s not done for the sake of changing. Hurling will be looked at in a hurling context and whatever comes out will be done on the basis of what we see in relation to the game.”
However, he said they are likely to canvass opinions using the same mediums as the FRC. “We’ll be anxious to get a point of view through research, online surveys and basically using everything available to us.
“We will be trying to go wide in terms of getting people’s views and their understanding. The committee will then get together and see what seems to be the areas of importance or those that need to be considered.
“Any decision taken won’t be done lightly.”