Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea sees the recruitment of “proven winner” Kieran McGeeney as a mutually beneficial agreement for the players and former Kildare manager.
McGeeney’s main priorities will be with Armagh, where he is one of Paul Grimley’s selectors, and he will visit the Tipperary camp on an irregular basis.
However, O’Shea is delighted to have him on board in an advisory capacity. “He’s coming this season to work for us in the whole broad area of performance and performance improvement He’s a proven winner, I’ve had great admiration for him for a long time and he has some time available this season even though he has a busy schedule with Armagh.
“I just asked him if he would like to look in on us now and again. He was also anxious to see how things work in other sports and he was delighted to get an opportunity to see how things are done in Tipperary.
“He certainly won’t be with us all of the time but I think if we can draw on his experience, both on the management side and the individual players’ side, it will be very good.”
Speaking to Tipp FM yesterday evening, O’Shea also spoke in relation to young footballers Steven O’Brien, Liam McGrath, Colin O’Riordan, Seamus Kennedy and John Meagher, who are among his extended training panel.
They will continue to split their time with either or both the senior and U21 football squads. Asked about the possibility of a conflict between the codes in the spring when the hurling league clashes with the U21 Munster championship, he said: “I hope not. You have to protect the players first in terms of the amount of work that they do and then you have to be supportive of them. It’s just about working it out with the rest of the managers.
“It’s very difficult to do both at a high level but I’m pretty open when a player is playing U21 football and wants to play U21 football. At the highest level at senior, it’s my view you probably have to dedicate to one sport only but we’re not at that stage yet.”
Tipperary’s senior football manager Peter Creedon dismissed conjecture in the county that players could be leaning towards committing solely to the hurlers.
“There is no gun being put to anyone’s head,” he told the Irish Examiner. “What can you do? Like in any county, the good footballers are good hurlers.
“None of the players have been told they can’t play football. What you might find is if they do make the 24 or 25 in the hurling panel for the league, they might possibly make a decision and choose one over the other. That’s part and parcel of it. I’ve spoken to Eamon, we’ve discussed it. The reality is dual players are good enough to play with both and want to train with both of us.”
Creedon also backed his players’ decision to boycott the McGrath Cup in protest at the seeded formation of the Munster senior football championship.
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