Shane Kilkenny looks at the front runners to become the next Tipperary hurling manager
Since Tipperary’s crushing All Ireland semi-final defeat to Kilkenny a lot of soul searching has been done in the County as they try to establish the reasons for their surprising collapse.
Delcan Ryan’s two year term is now at an end and it is widely expected that he will not look for an extension, leaving the door open for a fresh appointment. The possibilities for a replacement are limited though as Tipperary traditionally appoint former players from within the boundaries of their own County.
Three names have been mentioned over the last ten days as possible replacements and they will be well known to all hurling followers.
Sheedy managed his native County for three seasons from 2008-2010. This period was very successful culminating in an All Ireland success in 2010. The time pressures involved in balancing a demanding career with the management of an Inter County side caused Sheedy to step down in 2010 and with the team having regressed considerably in his absence he is highly unlikely to return for a second spell in charge.
Borris-ileigh native Stakelum was a star player for Tipperary during the 1980s and has been based in Dublin for well over a decade now. When Anthony Daly was appointed Dublin manager in 2009 Stakelum came on board as a selector where he has served for the last three seasons. The chances are he will remain with Dublin if as expected Daly returns for another season.
Eamon O’ Shea
Kilruane native O’ Shea is another name being mentioned. He served as team coach during Liam Sheedy’s tenure and would be highly regarded in the Premier County. Prior to his spell with the Tipperary senior team he did very little coaching apart from some work in the early nineties with Fitzgibbon teams in NUIG where he lectures. His tactical knowledge is renowned but he is unlikely to come on board as manager due to his preference for coaching roles.
The most likely replacement is Lorrha native Hogan. He played in goals for Tipperary for many years during the 1980s and early 90s. He is a highly rated coach who has worked with several Tipperary teams over the years, including a two year stint with the senior team from 2003-2004. Most recently he led Offaly club side Coolderry to a Leinster title and the Tipp U21s to All Ireland glory in 2010, a team he still manages. Hogan looks to be the frontrunner and with an impressive managerial CV few could argue that he is well qualified for a second stint in charge.