Dear Editor, Now that the Hurling All-Ireland is over, I would like to pen a few words which I have had in my mind since August 2011. Our Tipp team!! What has happened? Champs 2010 — new era, u — 21 one week later - where did it all go so wrong? New management is getting blamed but the players and panel must ask themselves serious questions.
Have they the desire, hunger, to continue to represent Tipp? Have they turned into celebrities? Their apparent behaviour, in public, is unacceptable. Look at our neighbours, heading for three in a row; are we happy with 1 in a row or an All Ireland once a decade?
I have followed Tipp all my life and still will p.g., but I was never as ashamed as this year the day of the massacre 19/08/2012. What a shame! Kilkenny fans jeered us, booed us, The Home of Hurling etc! What a capitulation of our team, it stemmed from a lack of desire and preparation. We hear they trained so hard, but the level of intensity — absent. Also too much socialising, two days after matches, would Brian Cody tolerate this — no need to answer!
I trace the demise of our team to shortly after 2010 victory — what a victory. One of our greatest days, (1987, Killarney never to be forgotten). Our players forgot the basics, turned themselves into mega stars, the arrival of Skoda sponsorship — cars given to amateur players, how could they keep their feet on the ground? I was present for last training session in Thurles before 2011 final and was saddened at what I witnessed. Supporters, young and old waited patiently to wish players all the best. Staff informed us that the players would be changed in 30 minutes. We waited, but only two players came out, remaining left the stadium secretly! Why I ask myself? This did not happen under previous management 2009 and 2010. Supporters are all part of their county and incur expenses to travel to matches.
Why can’t we do 2 in a row? Desire, hunger again seems absent. 2011 and 2012 we hear the same old story — row in the dressing room? Without explanation?
I think we need to change our club structure; 32 in Tipp, bring to 16 or so. Look at our counterparts in Kilkenny with 12 clubs. Can we learn? A new structure may increase intensity in clubs. It is impossible to get intensity to Kilkenny level when our club matches at the most part are pedestrian. If we don’t review structure we will fall away and allow Kilkenny to go to 40 titles and Cork to 35 and we stay at 26?
We need to look at or ‘scout’ the Kilkenny coaching sessions from underage to senior and see how they can produce a far more determined/hungrier player than us, though skill level may be similar.
It is very difficult to listen to Michael Duignan on The Sunday Game, 19/08/2012, “Tipp, flakey and often were over the years”. Ger Loughnane has questioned our appetite for battle several times. Tony Considine wrote we “have no bottle”.
The final straw was the Sunday Game on 01/10/2012. Eddie Brennan on his Moment of the Summer; Lar Corbett and Pa Bourke ‘show’ with Tommy Walsh and Jackie Tyrell! Eddie clearly played to the gallery in City West. One would have to concur with Eddie that this ‘tactic’ was nothing other than embarrassing and a ‘circus’. In summary, I believe that it is imperative the entire Tipp squad, management and county board, collectively give an explanation for the overall behaviour, disharmony and apparent ‘tactics’ of all involved, to the people of Tipperary. This is needed to renew PRIDE in the wearing of the BLUE and GOLD.
A Hopeful Supporter.