Following Tipperary’s All-Ireland triumph on Sunday, goal-scorer John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer waxed lyrical about the impact made by Liam Sheedy’s backroom team.
“Just Liam (Sheedy) returning is no good, he’s only as good as his backroom team. He came back with a backroom team that was different class so he got the people that he wanted and without them, Liam is no good, he’ll tell you that himself.
“The whole professionalism and the way they go about their business. Our S&C, our nutritionists, our coaches, there’s everything that you look for, it’s given to you on a plate and there’s no stone unturned and we got our just reward at the end of the day.”
The man himself entered the media zone after Bubbles and immediately echoed the sentiments of his centre forward.
“I committed to giving this group and this team 100 per cent, and what I got in return was 100 per cent back. Whether we won or whether we lost today, we had given everything we possibly could. I stood there at half three today knowing I had done everything I possibly could to get that team in the best shape of their lives. That was their work and the way they responded and thankfully we sit here at the end of 2019 as All-Ireland champions, so it’s very pleasing from that perspective.
“This journey was never about me, it’s all about the team and the backroom team we put around them. Eamon O’Shea, Tommy Dunne and Darragh Egan are just unbelievable men – all three. And Cairbre doing the S&C, the condition he has got those players in is just fantastic. They challenged the lads and the lads responded. So just thrilled.”
Following Sunday’s triumph, the man on everybody’s lips was Tipperary’s Séamus Callanan who bagged his eighth consecutive championship goal early in the second half to send the Premier County on their way to victory.
Sheedy praised his exceptional captain who has come full circle since playing in the half-time mini-games in 2001 when Tipperary triumphed over Galway.
“Ah look, he’s been superb. I don’t know, to score a goal in every round of this championship, when he’s being targeted and he is being marked, I think it is just exceptional.”
“Like, the year he’s had – he gave the frees to Jason and he took on his own mantle, and I think the journey he’s gone with this team, the leadership he’s shown because every time he raised the green flag it’s nearly four points because he’s such a character within the dressing-room.
“I’m personally delighted for him, I don’t know did anyone see that in 2001 he set foot on that pitch and played in the mini-games, he went out in 2010 and came off the bench and played a massive, massive role in us winning an All-Ireland title, and here he is today, captaining the team.
“It could not happen to a better guy and what he has given Tipperary over the last number of years, and to me personally, has been phenomenal.”
For Tipperary’s now two-time All-Ireland winning manager this win marks an incredible career with this current group of players. The Portroe man has been involved with many of this squad since their teenage years and describes them as some of the best ever to wear the Tipperary jersey.
“I think this team has had more people saying what they weren’t over the last 10 years than what they were. I suppose we all sat and we honoured the previous captains of teams in Tipperary, but we have a wonderful group of players who have taken to the pitch in this decade and I’m delighted to see that group of players rewarded with another All-Ireland because maybe instead of going back to the Sixties all the time, maybe we should talk about this decade.
“Because I think at the moment in this Tipperary squad, we have some of the best players ever to wear that blue and gold jersey and that’s what makes me honoured and privileged to get the chance to work with them.
“As I said I’ve worked with a lot of those guys since they were minor in 2006, I had Brendan Maher since he was 16 in North Tipperary. So, of course, they mean a huge amount to me but, I mean, the whole group means an awful lot.
“But I’ve a special connection with that group that I worked with as minors and seniors in 2010, and they’re giving as much to me and to the county today as they were 10 years ago, which is the greatest credit.”