GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy bolstered by All-Ireland final experience
Last Updated: 07/08/19 12:14pm
After a nine-year absence from intercounty management, Liam Sheedy finds himself preparing for an All-Ireland final once again.
The Portroe man has tasted both agony and ecstasy on the sport's biggest day, and feels the experience of 2009 and 2010 will stand him in good stead as he prepares the current crop for the decider.
"It's good to have been through the routine previously," he said at Tipperary's pre-final press evening, held at the halfway point of the three-week build-up.
"While a lot has changed, there's also a lot of constants.
"Having been through the build-up, I know what it's like to have played in an All-Ireland semi-final and watch the build-up go on when we lost in 2008, and also I suppose to have been in All-Ireland preparation mode previously in '09 and '10.
"That's a help, for sure, because having a routine in life and in sport is good at times.
"The three weeks building up to an All-Ireland final is the best three weeks of your life."
Sheedy is relishing the atmosphere in the county
"We're exactly where we want to be and we're loving every aspect of our preparation and we know now it's all geared towards bringing a performance out onto that pitch, because if we come up any bit short or off-colour, we will be found out, because this is a serious, serious Kilkenny team."
The Premier were the form team of the country early in the summer, storming through the Munster round-robin with four wins.
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However, they hit a speed-bump in the provincial decider as Limerick inflicted a 12-point hammering.
Sheedy was impressed with the manner in which his troops turned their form around.
"We took the scenic route," he continued. "The Munster final was a tough day for us. We didn't bring a level of performance in the second half of what we'd expect from ourselves so that was hugely disappointing.
"But, equally impressive was the way the guys regrouped and have gone about their business since. [There were] probably a lot of question marks still from various sectors after the quarter-final performance.
"The first half was tough for us against Wexford. They were over-running us and had us in deep trouble at periods in that first half. But, ultimately, the way we finished the game and the way we reacted when our backs were to the wall was probably hugely pleasing."
Following his eight-year absence from the side-line, Sheedy was returning with one thing in mind. He Is now one step away from bringing the Liam MacCarthy back to the 'home of hurling' for a second time as manager.
"Every year when you start out you want to be involved on All-Ireland final day and that's where we find ourselves and we're just really, really looking forward to it," he said.
"It's been hard-earned. There's been a few twists and turns along the way which I knew there would be. But to be in there now is really, really pleasing. It's one we're just really relishing and looking forward to."
Sky Sports' GAA coverage continues next weekend with live coverage of both All-Ireland SFC semi-finals.