Liam Cahill could see that level of performance coming from his Tipperary side last Saturday night, writes
As shell-shocked as Cork would have been 10 minutes into the first half of the All-Ireland U20 HC final, the Premier were very much in the groove all over the pitch.
Of course, even Cahill would not have thought for a second that Tipp would have raised four green flags inside the opening nine minutes, but he did express the thought-process that a superb display was en route down the tracks.
“Thrilled for the players, really, they put in a super performance,” Cahill explained. “They were true to their word when we put our thoughts together over the last couple of weeks. The last week has been phenomenal.
“I knew by the way they were training. Like Tuesday night, Jerome (Cahill), Paddy (Cadell) and Jake (Morris) came back and they were hopping off the sod. Fellas that had won a senior All-Ireland two days previously.
“It was just an absolute credit to them, they came with real intent last Tuesday night. We played 12 or 14 minutes of a match and it was as good a quality as I’ve ever seen.
I said, ‘if these fellas are beat Saturday I’ll throw my hat at it’. It’s easy say that I suppose when you win, but that’s the feeling I had.
“I’m just thrilled for the players, they’re a marvellous bunch of young men. They just absolutely embrace everything we’re about.”
Cahill comes across as a serious man-manager. His attitude is rarely downbeat and his positivity and belief must seep into the collective mind-sets of his squads.
You can see Cahill being an extremely good motivator as well, based on his sideline mannerisms.
He shuffles along the sidelines, constantly buzzing and that electricity is reflected in how his Tipp teams operate.
Certainly, that was the case in those devastating minutes on Saturday night which put the game beyond Cork before some supporters had even taken their seats.
He seems like such a decisive character as well and you would not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that he could be really successful as a senior inter-county manager, too.
Ultimately, he has proven himself to be a winning manager, so his managerial style is already matched with plenty of substance in the form of silverware.
Following Cahill’s career from this point should be interesting. You would imagine that after Liam Sheedy decides to step away from his present post as senior boss, that Cahill would slot seamlessly into the role, especially as he will know the majority of the players that everybody expects will kick-on at the top level.
And his honesty in discussing his role in Billy Seymour’s development was revealing.
“Billy and I have a real love-hate relationship,” explained Cahill. “Billy is a great young fella. I’ve thrown an awful lot of stuff at Billy over the last couple of years. He’s been pottering around with me, on and off teams. But I’m absolutely thrilled to see him mature into the man I knew he could be.
“I hope he embraces it now and kicks on because he’s a fine player. I’m thrilled for him. I told him he’d get man-of-the-match award if he went about his business properly and I’m thrilled for him.”
Seymour, of course, scored 2-5 against Cork, 2-4 of which was executed in open play.
Clearly, from the words Cahill used in that quote, he understands how to manage people, that some need an arm around the shoulder and others, a few choice words of encouragement, at times.
It sounds like such a simple element of the managerial package, but not every manager is blessed with the required levels of man-management skills and, therefore, do not get as much out of some players as they should.
Yet, the more experienced players in Cahill’s team deserve credit as well.
Paddy Cadell, for instance, spoke of a level of maturity among those that were also involved in the seniors’ success.
Cadell told of how the seniors in the U20’s squad were keen to push on again yesterday week, just over 48 hours after winning a senior All-Ireland title with their county.
“We were really eager to make an impression on Tuesday night, that our year hadn't finished yet,” said Cadell. “That was the big thing for us, we wanted to drive on the other lads and let them know that we were here.
“I suppose when the All-Ireland was achieved last Sunday, just to let them know we were in the right frame of mind to come and take on this Cork team again.
“Because anything other than the right frame of mind and going at it 100% wouldn't have been good enough.”
If the likes of Cadell, Jerome Cahill and Jake Morris, three of the more experienced young men among that U20 panel, maintain such levels of dedication, those players around them are bound to thrive too, taking their cue from them and how they conduct themselves.
Nevertheless, the Cork panel will have opportunities for their own successes in the future.
Losing last Saturday will not define them.