O’Shea to continue in Premier County hot-seat

Eamon O’Shea is to continue as Tipperary senior hurling manager, it was confirmed last night.

O’Shea met with the Tipperary panel yesterday evening to inform the players of his intention to remain at the helm for a third season.

Changes are expected to O’Shea’s backroom team and a leading official says the full make-up of the 2015 management team will be revealed over the weekend.

Concern had been growing the Kilruane MacDonaghs clubman was set to depart the scene to concentrate solely on his role as head of Economics at NUIG.

Speaking after the county’s All-Ireland final replay defeat to Kilkenny last month, O’Shea hinted his tenure in the bainisteoir’s bib neared an end.

“It’s never about me and not about me. Tipperary will always be there. The project is to improve the players and that is bigger than me. They know what it is about now and they will take it on,” he said.

O’Shea served as Tipperary senior hurling coach from 2008 to 2010, stepping into the manager’s role in September 2012.

A number of Premier hurlers had called for the manager to see out his three-year term in the wake of the Kilkenny defeat, with Kieran Bergin this week claiming it would be a “backwards step” if Galway-based O’Shea decided not to continue.

“Someone else coming in would find it very hard to get the respect of the players. It’s hard to explain the bond that’s there. He’s a great manager, very intelligent and he’s as honest as the day is long. All the players are mad about him.”

Meanwhile Waterford’s Seamus Prendergast, who stepped down from inter-county duty just last week, has paid tribute to Stephen Molumphy, who joined him in retirement yesterday. “Stephen will be a big loss, he made a huge contribution to Waterford hurling,” said Prendergast of Molumphy, who captained the county to a Munster SHC title in 2010.

“He gave everything on the field — he was very hard-working, good to win a hard ball if he had to and give out a pass or win a free. And he could take his own score as well. From his Army background, he brought in good discipline as well and that helped the team. Stephen is cool enough when he needs to be and was always an asset.”

Molumphy said yesterday it had been an “honour and privilege to have played on and captained the Waterford senior hurling team since 2006 and been part of one of the most successful periods in Waterford hurling history”.

He continued: “There is no greater feeling than taking to the hurling field and representing your county.

“I’d like to thank my club, Ballyduff Upper, for their support and my family and friends for their trusted advice and understanding...I’d like to sincerely thank my wife, Niamh. Without her support, patience and understanding, I’d never have been able to combine my county hurling commitments with my work in the Irish Defence Forces.”



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