Sheedy already has one eye on 2020 campaign

It wasn’t a Jordan Belfort-esque declaration but that wouldn’t be Liam Sheedy’s style.

Sheedy already has one eye on 2020 campaign

It wasn’t a Jordan Belfort-esque declaration but that wouldn’t be Liam Sheedy’s style.

He is leaning towards conveying the same message, though: He ain’t leaving.

Long before Sunday, the Tipperary County Board began work on keeping their man and they are more than confident their two-time All-Ireland SHC manager will be staying on.

Even though he was appointed on a three-year term, the news will come as a relief, given he stepped away just weeks after leading the county to glory in 2010.

His responsibilities in Bank of Ireland have grown since then: He is now the director for the Munster region.

But 2010 was his third season in charge; Sunday, he hopes, is a beginning.

“Yeah, I made a decision at the start of the year that I’d assess things at the end of the year.

"I’m in for three years, I always have a one-year plan and year one has gone very, very well so I’ve got to sit down with my family, I’ve got to sit down with my job and we’ll take things as they come, but right now the bug has hit me so right now I’m feeling good about the job.”

To mention a hunger less than 24 hours after an All-Ireland title is quite something but Sheedy means it.

“Yeah, I know but I probably have a good connection with these lads. Since last November we’ve built up a really, really good relationship. They’re just a superb group of men.

“I suppose we started with 40 and credit to the lads, we finished with 40 as well so every one of them stayed on board throughout the campaign and that was because every one of them kept giving and kept giving and they spend, spend, spend every time they go to training and it’s amazing to think that nobody left the panel since last November.

“That probably tells you all need to know about this group.”

Still buzzing with energy yesterday morning — “A Berocca in the morning does wonders for a man,” he laughs — the prospect of defending an All-Ireland title — something he denied himself in 2011 — is an appetising one.

Look, I suppose the stats are there for all to see — Tipperary don’t have a good record of putting it back-to-back — so that’s something we’ll think about in a few weeks’ time but for now this group they deserve to enjoy the win of 2019.

Sheedy was just as effusive about his management team as his players. Any time he was asked about Eamon O’Shea during the year, he instead spoke about the collective on the sideline but on Sunday he began to open up on his friend and yesterday praised him to the hilt.

“Myself and Eamon O’Shea have a special relationship, there’s no other words for it. We started back in 2008 and we went on a journey and the journey finished in 2010.

"The reality is I wouldn’t be sitting here today as an All-Ireland champion manager only for Eamon O’Shea.

“We just have a special connection. He has a special connection to me and he has a special connection to all the players and he brings the best out of everyone.

“I fully appreciate the work he does but, again, I would feel that in me, in Tommy (Dunne), in Darragh (Egan) and in Eamon we have the best set-up in the country, and that’s what you need if you’re going to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Kilkenny and Limerick and the rest of them so I’d give massive, massive credit to Eamon, Tommy, and Darragh.

"I have an exceptional backroom team and management team.

“Eamon O’Shea is a very busy man. He has a hectic schedule. I couldn’t visualise myself going on this journey without having Eamon by my side and on my shoulder.

"Just thrilled this morning now, it’s pure elation because we done it together in 2010 and here we are (again).

"It was a special moment in 2010 going up and throwing up the cup and to do it again with Eamon by my side is a very special moment.”

The importance of his strength and conditioning coach Cairbre Ó Cairealláin and physios like former forward Paddy O’Brien was also shown in ensuring John O’Dwyer began Sunday’s game after he tweaked his hamstring in the warm-up.

“Cairbre is a top-class man. We knew Arsenal had interest. We knew Connacht had interest.

"But, I had an interest too, and when we sat down we connected, and as soon as we connected we were in business, and he’s just a super guy.

“Look, Bubbles yesterday going across, he gave himself a twinge, and Paddy O’Brien just took him and said: ‘Liam, he’ll be fine,’ and thankfully he was.

"He was superb and I am thrilled for him because he was in and out for the last number of years since 2016, so to see him go and deliver on the big stage yesterday was a special moment.”

Part one of a famous treble?

Liam Sheedy might have suggested Tipperary had slipped outside hurling’s top four at the start of the year.

But one tipster, not necessarily noted for its GAA expertise, had earmarked them for glory.

Old Moore’s Almanac 2019 predicted Tipp would win their 28th senior title this season.

And the ancient astrological tipster is still on course for a famous double — it picked Dublin to win the All-Ireland football title.

But will there be a famous hat-trick? Old Moore’s also predicted Ireland will win the Rugby World Cup.

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