New Tipperary manager Eamonn O’Shea has outlined his ambitions for the county’s hurling team, just hours after taking over from Declan Ryan. Despite their humiliation by Kilkenny last month, O’Shea is optimistic for the future.
Speaking on Tipp FM’s Tipp Today programme, the NUIG professor said he wants to regain the premier county’s status as one of the best two teams in the country.
“The challenge is to get back to the top two. We’re currently in the top four so we’re not that far away. These players have had a lot of success, even in the last two years they have been Munster champions. We’re starting from a good base. I’m optimistic about the next year. It’s right to have expectations but they need to be tempered,” he said.
The Kilruane McDonagh’s man has an excellent pedigree for the position. He was a coach to the Tipperary team that successful derailed Kilkenny’s drive for five in 2010.
O’Shea revealed that he only decided to take the job over the weekend and has yet to put a backroom team in place. He will be patient in compiling his support staff but has experience of what is required, having served as a coach under Liam Sheedy for three years.
He told the station: “It is a challenge but it’s also a great honour to be given this position. This only came to fruition over the weekend so it’ll be over the next month that I’ll be putting the backroom team together.
“We’re fortunate that there’s a lot of very good people already in the system in Tipperary from medics, back up and logistics. The role of a manager is making sure the whole system is working whereas as a coach you can concentrate on certain aspects of the game. I was very fortunate to work under a manager like Liam Sheedy.”
O’Shea is looking forward to the prospect of putting a team together for 2013, saying that he would take his time to reflect on the injection of fresh blood into the panel and on the health of the current squad.
“We will looking at new players but there’s a lot of good ones in Tipperary. By January we will be properly up and running. I’m not certain about retirements. Panels are always evolving. But Tipperary do need senior players over the next two or three years to help transition. We must remember that these players are amateur and have given an awful lot to Tipperary,” he stated.
O’Shea refused to be drawn on rumours of indiscipline and trouble in the camp which have dogged the team all year but he added that the players need to be mindful at all times that the privilege of pulling on the blue and gold Tipperary jersey brings responsibilities to the people they are representing.