Seamus Callanan rejects the idea Tipperary are in transition following the departure of Eamon O’Shea as manager and mass retirements over the winter.
Callanan, 27, is now the most experienced player in Michael Ryan’s panel but maintains there is enough talent to be challenging for honours again this season despite the loss of their first choice midfield in Shane McGrath and James Woodlock, as well as Conor O’Mahony and Lar Corbett.
“I think that’s too big a word,” said Callanan of the transition theory. “The core of that panel is still there from 2009 really onwards. A lot of the panel are still together so there’s a good bit of experience there.
“You need fresh faces coming through. It’s a different dressing-room in a way to walk into. It’s obviously a very positive one so looking forward to seeing what they have to offer.”
Conor Stakelum, a 1991 All-Ireland winner with Tipperary and brother of Richard, was yesterday announced as the newest addition to the set-up where he, with John Madden and Declan Fanning, will assist his former team-mate Ryan.
Now in his seventh year involved in Tipperary management, Ryan spoke before Christmas of adding a physical edge to Tipperary’s style.
The recruitment of footballers Steven O’Brien and Seamus Kennedy would suggest as much.
But speaking yesterday at Allianz’s announcement of an extension to their sponsorship of the National Leagues until 2020, Callanan said much of Tipperary’s best hurling last season was based on pace and movement.
“There was obviously criticism there last year after the Galway (All-Ireland semi-final) game that we weren’t physical enough. It was a brand of hurling we played and it was very successful in a lot of ways. A lot of teams couldn’t counteract our movement and our skill.
“So, look, Michael has obviously brought in a few new players and big, rangy players. You need to be able to mix it as well.
“Personally, my own philosophy is speed, movement and skills take up a massive part of the game. Obviously, you have to be able to ship tackles as well. I wouldn’t say any of our players wouldn’t have been able to do that. We were playing a lot of games with movement and that, get in as many hits when you’re playing that sort of a game.
“It’s no harm to try out this and bring in a few new guys like that. The panel has been freshened up obviously, so (we’re) just looking forward to seeing these guys in the league and these guys will get their chances and see what it has to bring.”
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