Tipperarys next hurling manager: Seven contenders to replace Liam Sheedy in Premier hot seat

We look at seven contenders to take over as Tipperary senior hurling manager after Liam Sheedy announced on Monday that he is stepping down.

Liam Cahill

The current Waterford manager is widely tipped to fill the void, and it is envisaged he would be given the job if interested.

The Ballingarry native led the Premier to U21 and U20 All-Ireland titles in 2018 and 2019 respectively, and was favourite to succeed Michael Ryan before Sheedy emerged as an 11th-hour candidate last time around.

Since then, he took the reins in the Deise County, and has enjoyed real success with the Suir-siders. Under his watch, Waterford reached the 2020 All-Ireland final, and fell to Limerick once more this year at the penultimate stage.

Speaking after the defeat to the Treaty, Cahill remained coy on his future with Waterford: “I’m here after having a brilliant two years here with these fellas. They’ve given me everything. I’ve got out as much as I can around the club scene in Waterford as well. Lots of good young hurlers. Nice U20 team again. A lovely minor team contesting a Munster final.

“The two years are up – that was the initial agreement. We’ll just have to sit down and talk to everybody. Stakeholders, county chairman, and all the boys who initially chatted about what needed to happen. It’s hard to know yet but look, these fellas are very hard to walk away from because they’re a really honest bunch of fellas.”

Could he return to his native county?

  • Sheedy steps down as Tipperary manager

  • Tipp great Maher announces retirement

  • Is it the end of an era in Tipperary?

Darragh Egan

The Kiladangan man has been on Sheedy’s backroom team since the Portroe native took the reins in late 2018. Egan, who played for the county between 2005 and 2015 as both a forward and a goalkeeper, is highly rated as a coach.

He has worked with the group in recent years, and therefore is well aware of the young talent coming through.

He could be well-placed to oversee the expected transition period in the coming seasons, should more of the senior players follow Brendan Maher into retirement.

Darren Gleeson

The All-Ireland winning goalkeeper in 2014 has delivered some eye-catching results in charge of Antrim.

His first year as manager of the Saffrons saw them go through 2020 unbeaten, winning National League Division 2A and Joe McDonagh Cup titles.

They took another step in the right direction this year, defeating Clare and Laois, and drawing with Wexford in Division 1B. While they suffered championship relegation, there is no doubt that Antrim hurling is on an upward trajectory under Gleeson’s watch.

Willie Maher

Maher led the Tipperary minors to an All-Ireland title in 2012. He was a selector with Derek McGrath in Waterford, and managed the Tipp U21 team in 2017, so has worked with many of the current senior side.

After missing out on the Tipp job in 2018, he remained in the game by leading Cuala to back-to-back county titles in Dublin.

Colm Bonnar

The two-time All-Ireland winner with Tipp is not found wanting for experience. He has managed at senior inter-county level with Wexford and more recently Carlow. He acted as a selector with Waterford and indeed the Premier County in the 2000s.

He also experienced success at third level, helping Waterford IT to four Fitzgibbon Cup titles.

His Christy Ring and Joe McDonagh Cup titles with the Barrow-siders in recent years means he may be considered, although he is likely a long-shot in the conversation at present.

Brendan Cummins

Cummins is another dark horse, but has worked with the Kerry hurlers in recent years as the Kingdom have managed to make strides.

The Ballybacon-Grange man is a legend within the county, having stood in goals for two All-Ireland successes in 2001 and 2010.

Tommy Dunne

The 2001 All-Ireland winning captain has been linked with inter-county management roles before, both in Tipperary and elsewhere. The Toomevara man was part of Sheedy’s backroom team over the last three years, and also managed the Premier County’s minor team to the Munster title in 2018.

His coaching acumen is highly regarded. Could he take on the top job?

Sky Sports’ GAA coverage continues on Sunday, with the All-Ireland hurling final down for decision. Watch Cork vs Limerick live on Sky Sports Arena from 2:30pm.

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