Tipperary ‘must get Kilkenny monkey off our backs’

Tipperary secretary Tim Floyd thinks the Premier County’s hurlers will continue to be second best until they get the Kilkenny "monkey" off their back.

In his address to convention, Floyd called on everyone involved in the game in the county to redouble their efforts to win their 27th Liam MacCarthy Cup, but that until they match the standards of their near neighbours head on, they will never consistently beat Brian Cody’s side.

This year Eamon O’Shea’s side lost the league final to Kilkenny after extra-time, and also the All-Ireland final after a replay. Floyd says it’s time end that hardship of defeat.

“Kilkenny is the monkey on Tipperary’s back and until we shake it off, that obstacle will continue to give us heartbreak,” Floyd said in his secretary’s report.

“Other counties may give us temporary setbacks, but Kilkenny won’t be going away, so we need to raise our bar once again and meet their challenge.

“We have the players, management team and the structures in place to mount another attack in 2015. Bring it on,” he said.

There was also plenty of despair in the county after their early exit of the Munster championship at the hands of Limerick — just three weeks on from that league final loss to Brian Cody’s side.

Members of the Tipperary panel came into focus in the aftermath of that game for allegedly partaking in two days of revelry, and Floyd lashed the local media and supporters who round fault with their behaviour.

“A lot of blood-letting was experienced over the following week as a local newspaper printed an article which caused major public reaction.

“This opened the whole debate on amateur players whose hobby is hurling and who are not contracted to anyone, but yet the public expect them to behave like professionals.

“In all walks of life we have role models, especially in sport, and impressionable youth are influenced by what they see and hear and very often try to emulate them. In the main these influences are good and our hurlers and footballers are a credit to their clubs and county.

“Isolated incidents occur in all walks of life and hurling is no exception. I have seen our players grow in maturity over the past six years. A clear vision and focus (on) winning trophies is their priority,” he said.

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