Armagh football selector Kieran McGeeney has accepted an invitation from Tipperary senior hurling manager Eamon O’Shea to join his backroom team for the 2014 campaign.
Former Kildare boss McGeeney, who captained the Armagh footballers to All-Ireland glory in 2002, will therefore adopt a dual intercounty mandate next year, as he is already on board in his native county alongside manager Paul Grimley.
It is understood that O’Shea will ask McGeeney to work on the mental aspects of preparation with the Tipperary senior hurlers.
O’Shea is a keen admirer of McGeeney’s work and a motivational speech by the Mullaghbawn native was used on a mental skills DVD distributed to the Tipperary players last season.
Naturally, the vast majority of McGeeney’s time will be spent in Armagh but the three-time All Star will also provide an ear for O’Shea, his management team and the Tipperary players over the coming months.
The acquisition of McGeeney is another major coup for O’Shea, who recently enlisted former Olympic sprinter Gary Ryan as physical trainer.
Tipperary county board officials are also anxious to ensure a degree of continuity as a number of exciting young players are bedded into the senior squad.
Liam McGrath has been called up to the Tipperary senior squad
Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
And that led to them appoint O’Shea, assistant manager Michael Ryan and coach Paudie O’Neill for another two years at the most recent county board meeting.
As he runs the rule over an extended winter training squad, estimated to be in the region of 45 players, O’Shea will maintain a fluid, open-ended approach until well into the New Year.
As well as retired goalkeeper Brendan Cummins, other players not part of the panel at the moment are 2012 All Star nominee Pa Bourke, Johnny Ryan, Brian O’Meara, Thomas Stapleton, John O’Keeffe and Donagh Maher.
But some of these players could earn a recall, as a number of players may be ineligible for Tipperary during the Waterford Crystal Cup campaign, due to third-level commitments.
16 players have been added to the extended Tipperary squad, namely: Michael Breen, Steven O’Brien (Ballina), James Logue (Ballingarry), Conor Kenny (Borrisoleigh), Tom Treacy (Cappawhite), David Collins (Drom & Inch), Cathal Barrett (Holycross/Ballycahill), Colin O’Riordan (JK Brackens), Tadhg Gallagher (Kildangan), Niall O’Meara, Jack Peters (Kilruane MacDonaghs), Liam McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), Paddy Murphy (Nenagh Éire Óg), Seamus Kennedy (St Mary’s, Clonmel), Denis Maher, Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields).
Some of Tipperary’s more experienced players, including 2010 All-Ireland winning captain Eoin Kelly, will not resume training until the New Year.
– Originally published at 13.02