EIGHT YEARS AFTER leading his native Tipperary to All-Ireland glory, Liam Sheedy will look to guide the Premier back to rarefied heights after last night being confirmed for a second stint in charge.
The 48-year-old’s stunning return to inter-county management was rubber-stamped on Monday evening, as the Tipperary county board appointed Sheedy as Michael Ryan’s successor on a three-year term.
Sheedy will take charge of Tipperary for the second time from 2019 onwards after a previous three-year stint, which included that All-Ireland crown in 2010, and he said ‘a burning desire’ persuaded him to throw his hat in the ring for the vacancy.
“I’m thrilled to be back,” he told RTÉ Sport. “To manage any team is an absolute honour, but to get to manage your own county is extra special.
“I’m really looking forward to it. One thing I can guarantee everyone is I’ll give 100% over the course of my term.
“Ever since I left in 2010, I always felt that someday I might be given a chance to come back in. I’m back working in Munster again with Bank of Ireland, that gives me a little more scope because I’m more local. When I got the chance last week to put my name into the ring, I jumped at it.”
Sheedy, who has held roles within his club Portroe and Antrim in the intervening years, continued: “You don’t realise it until you are gone. Being involved with the club, with Antrim and various teams, the love for the game never really goes away.
“I was fortunate enough to talk about it a lot of Sundays over the course of the years, so when I got the chance to come back in, I said ‘why not?’
“I’m really looking forward to it. I haven’t been as buzzed up in a long time. I’m full of energy and really looking forward to getting stuck in.
“There was a burning desire in me that just wasn’t going away.”
The return of Sheedy will generate huge excitement among Tipperary supporters and after his previous success in the role, the level of expectations will naturally soar heading into the 2019 season.
But Tipp endured a disappointing summer under Ryan’s stewardship, failing to win a game in the Munster round-robin series as they drew with Cork and Waterford in between defeats to Limerick and Clare.
Sheedy currently works for Bank of Ireland.
Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO
Sheedy knows the size of the task ahead, as he looks to manage those expectations.
“I was fortunate enough to win an All-Ireland title and any time a job becomes vacant inside or outside, when you are an All-Ireland winning manager, you are generally in the firing line and that is a good thing,” he said.
“I was honoured to be talked about in terms of the role. As time moved on, there was a burning desire in me that just wasn’t going away. I came to the table late, but I’m delighted I did.
“I’m looking forward to creating a similar scenario again, really just giving the boys a good set-up that lows them to express themselves and play to their full potential.”
Sheedy will leave his role as a pundit on The Sunday Game as he combines his work commitments with Bank of Ireland and the Tipperary job.
His backroom team will be assembled and ratified in the coming weeks, with an announcement due after the Tipperary county board’s October meeting.
“I’m going to take the next two or three weeks to make sure I get the right people. Nowadays it’s all about the team behind the team,” Sheedy added.
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