THE U21 SUCCESS was being celebrated but senior matters did not stray far from Tipperary hurling thoughts in the Gaelic Grounds last night.
It was an All-Ireland underage triumph for the county to cherish after a major revival since the Munster final but when the man at the helm for Tipperary spoke afterwards, the issue of the vacant senior position in the county was always set to crop up.
That’s two national titles as a manager now for Liam Cahill, 2018 success at U21 level following on from the back of the 2016 glory in the minor grade.
But does he want to make the step up to replace Michael Ryan in the senior hotseat?
“My mother used to always say, ‘be fierce careful what you wish for’. The bottom line is sure, I’m a Tipperary man and I love Tipperary hurling. I said during the week that if the opportunity arises to sit down and talk to the relevant people selecting the next Tipperary manager, I’d love to sit down and talk to them.
“Whether I’m right or not for the job, I’m not sure. I’d like to remain where I am. I know I’m talking a bit too much but I feel now the right place for me to be is with next year’s U20s, and to get another year under my belt – and then to see if the opportunity comes around again.
“But look there’s no time like the present. We’ll sit down and see if I’m approached and if we do, we do. The bottom line, as I said during the week, the manager’s appointment is big, but it’s whoever is going to be on this man’s ticket is the key.”
Tipperary’s manager Liam Cahill celebrates at the final whistle with his wife Eimear.
Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
This All-Ireland win represented an impressive management feat. After losing to Cork by 13 points in early July, Tipperary have seen off Galway by six and then Cork in a re-match by three.
The surgery performed to the Tipperary starting side was notable with five personnel changes and another five positional changes from that Munster decider. Four players who started last evening did not feature at all in the provincial showdown.
“In fairness to the media and the public, they had every reason to write us off. We did salvage some bit of our pride and our ability against Galway but it wasn’t really enough to convince people, and rightly so.
I know it’s easy to say it afterwards when you win that we were quietly confident behind the scenes but it was always going to be a narrower gap. It was never going to be a 13-point gap, that’s for sure. Different environment, different set-up. We knew a bit more about Cork than we did in the Munster final.
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“They worked their socks off all over the field. Incredible to pick themselves up after the Munster final. All credit to the players. These are a very capable bunch of young men. A testament to the work that’s being done at underage in Tipperary. We don’t do everything right but we do an awful lot of things right.”
Tipperary captain Colin English lifts the trophy after yesterday’s game.
Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
After a season where the county senior side exited the championship arena on 10 June, an All-Ireland U21 title is a jolt to the fortunes of the Tipperary hurlers.
“It was vital, Tipperary people’s teams had the summer cut short this year,” stated Cahill.
“We love our hurling in Tipperary and hopefully the supporters came out today. I thought there’d be more of them, to be honest, but the real loyal supporters came out today and we’re really thrilled with them.
“I said during the week that we were coming into the final with no expectation, and for a Tipperary team coming into an All-Ireland final with no pressure, that just made the job a little easier.
“The Tipperary public know that as well, there has to be a major shake-up in the Tipperary squad. Thankfully these men today it might be a bit soon for them, but they are nipping nicely on the heels of some of them guys on the Tipp senior set-up that maybe (have been) in a comfort zone for a year or two. We will see what will happen.”
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