Liam Cahill: 'Tipperary hurling at a big crossroads with tough decisions to be made'

The Waterford manager and former Tipperary hurler did not mince his words
Liam Cahill: 'Tipperary hurling at a big crossroads with tough decisions to be made'

Waterford manager Liam Cahill with his daughter Saoirse after Saturday’s victory over Tipperary. Picture: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Once he had parsed what Waterford did right and wrong during Saturday’s All-Ireland quarter-final, Liam Cahill was asked to put on his Tipperary hat and assess the current health of his native county.

To Cahill’s credit, the former Tipperary hurler and three-time All-Ireland winning underage manager did not mince his words.

“Tipperary hurling at senior level is probably at a big crossroads now because there are a number of players there that have maybe big decisions to make over the next number of weeks,” he said.

“It’s going to take a little bit of organising and a little bit of soul searching, as well, to be done at every level; from players to the powers-that-be that have to look at maybe rejuvenating Tipperary hurling because from the sidelines looking in, it’s been quite difficult at minor and U20 this year.

“But we’ve done that before in Tipp. It’s not something that we are unaccustomed to and when they put the right supports around what has to happen, Tipp will be back bigger and stronger than ever and we don’t usually go away in Tipp for too long.

“I’m not saying for a second they’ve gone away, but definitely there’s a lot of tough decisions to be made.”

Given his long association with the blue and gold, first as a player and then as a manager, Saturday brought with it a degree of emotional conflict.

“I take no pleasure whatsoever in being part of this Waterford team that knocked Tipperary out of the championship. That I must convey out there.

“Everything I have been about all my life has revolved around hurling; and club hurling and Tipperary hurling, in particular.

“I love going to Tipperary matches and Tipp club matches, and I’ve had the real honour of being involved at underage with a lot of them guys that played today and are on the bench.

“I know they wouldn’t want pity, because that’s not the type of players they are, but I do feel sorry that Tipp had to exit the championship on the back of a team that I was over. I have no problems in saying that, and I think the Waterford people will understand that as well.

“It was a difficult place to be today but look, the job had to be done and it was done and we move on now.”

What’s for certain is that if Cahill possesses a desire to one day manage Tipperary at senior level, then he did his chances absolutely no harm on Saturday.

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