Tipperary selector Darragh Egan has said it will be even more difficult for the Premier County to emerge from the Munster round-robin in 2020 as Clare, Cork, and Waterford will each get “a bounce” from their new manager.
Provincial glory won’t be Tipperary’s chief ambition next year as Liam Sheedy’s charges bid to end the county’s 55-year wait for back-to-back All-Ireland titles.
But in order to put themselves in a position to strike for Liam MacCarthy, Tipperary must first finish in Munster’s top three.
That won’t be in any way straightforward, according to Egan, who points to the new-look sideline teams assembled in Clare, Cork, and Waterford.
Clare and Waterford, now headed up by Brian Lohan and Liam Cahill respectively, were the two counties to finish outside the top three this summer.
“Those three counties are going to get a bounce,” remarked Egan.
“It’s the same as the English Premier League. Managers are going to bring in new ideas, players are going to react to them. So all those counties are going to get a bounce.
“As well, John Kiely is going to have Limerick in good fettle. So it’s so difficult to get out of Munster and it will be again in 2020.”
No Tipperary hurling team since 1965 has managed to successfully defend their All-Ireland crown, but Egan stressed there will be no internal focus on delivering back-to-back success.
“There may be [pressure] outside of our management and playing body, but a big focus for us in 2020 is just 2020, play the championship on its merits.”