Full steam ahead for Tipperary senior training sessions

Full steam ahead for Tipperary senior training sessions

Tuesday, March 12, 2013  Irish Examiner

By John Fogarty
GAA Correspondent

There is no cap on senior Tipperary team training sessions, insists county secretary Tim Floyd.

There was speculation in the county both the hurlers and footballers haven’t been training as much as they did at this time last year as the board attempt to reduce their debts. However, Floyd pointed out budgetary agreements were made between board officials and Eamon O’Shea and Peter Creedon earlier in the year.

“We’ve agreed with managements on what’s available and there are no problems with requirements,” he said.

“Eamon isn’t a man for training the players every night of the week. He’s much in support of lads keeping themselves fresh. He’s also pro-club and releasing players to their clubs for games as the season develops.”

Last week, O’Shea blamed himself for not preparing the players adequately prior to the opening 12-point Division 1A defeat to Cork. He has also recruited Irish Examiner columnist Kieran Shannon as the team’s sports psychologist. Tipperary last season exceeded the €1m mark in team preparations for the fourth consecutive year with chairman Sean Nugent insistent “failure is not an option” in the county tightening their belts. Last summer, Nugent revealed the board were spending almost €25,000 a week on preparing county teams.

Meanwhile, Tipperary vice-captain Brendan Maher said the players are keen to prove their critics wrong this season. In Shane McGrath’s absence, Maher skippered the side in their one-point win over Kilkenny Sunday.

He revealed some of the criticism that came Tipperary’s way following last August’s 18-point All-Ireland semi-final defeat to the Cats has been stored up as motivation.

“Individually, you just block it out. You let it in one ear and out the other. I’d be lying if I said we didn’t use it as motivation. That’s the way I try to use it — when people criticise you and your teammates, you want to prove them wrong. I won’t say it bothered me, but, hopefully, we won’t have to use something like that as motivation again.”

Maher started in defence in Páirc Uí Rinn last month but he showed flashes of his very best form at midfield against Brian Cody’s All-Ireland champions.

Following the defeat to Cork, Maher admitted he heard plenty of “negative talk” around Tipperary. He explained: “Any time you go out and get a beating like that, there will be a lot of negative talk. That’s part of sport — we received it last year after the Kilkenny game and it was no different this time.

“But we knew that it was in us and we had two good weeks of sheer hard work at Dr Morris Park after the Cork game. We said we’d bring that forward to Sunday and bring it out on the field.

“Thankfully, we got it — we’ll analyse the game, work on the negatives and build on the positives. It’s a result and two points on the board but there’s a long year to go yet.”

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