Tipperary Ladies Football manager, Declan Carr
Tipperary Ladies Footballers are competing at the top level and it is their own hands to stay there stated their newly appointed Manager Declan Carr this week as he prepares for the opening round of Lidl National Football League Division 1 fixture against Cork on May 23 next.
Playing in their third consecutive season in the top-flight the new Tipperary manager said that the whole team performance was his primary focus. Carr who is in his first year as manager took over from Shane Ronayne who led Tipperary to two All-Ireland Intermediate titles during his reign and stepped down late last year. Paying tribute to his predecessor, Carr said that Shane had done a great job and there was nothing broken. He said while as new manager you do come in looking for low hanging fruit, ‘It’s scarce to be truthful. There is a crop of young athletes out there, that are hungry and anxious for success. I suppose with being hungry and anxious I see bits of room for improvement. In their eagerness to compete there are some issues such as unforced errors and turnovers that need to be addressed. Also, there’s probably room for improvement in their speed of thinking and decision making on the field. I have no doubt that these were addressed previously but a fresh voice will give it a fresh angle’.
In relation to the amount of preparation time and the restrictions that were imposed, Declan acknowledged that it wasn’t ideal and when it came to their first collective training session he found himself very nervous.
‘We had so many interactions through Zoom and we all had expectations when we would meet face to face and I was incredibly nervous and it is not something I would normally be’.
However, he said that while the preparations for the season were not what he had planned, they had done some great strength and conditioning work because physicality was an area he felt needed to be built on. Ultimately he said that all teams were in same position and all they could do was use their time as wisely as possible.
Speaking about their League campaign Declan said that he was looking for the positives, ‘We could have gotten different games but if we can go out and be competitive against Cork, Waterford and Dublin then we will be competitive in the Championship that is a positive for me. We could have had easier League games and then gone out in the Championship and had a rude awakening.’
Reluctant to set targets, Declan said that his main focus was on the whole team performance and how they needed to go up another level. He said he could see that the team was maturing and that he now needed his key players to bring the rest of the team along, ‘because to be a truly great team we need those players to bring up the other players’.
Concluding he said he was very conscious that this team was operating on a national platform and that two of their league games would be televised. ‘This team is competing at the top level and it will be in their own hands to stay there’.
Tipperary Ladies first outing of the season will throw in on Sunday May 23 next in Páirc Uí Rinn against Munster Rivals Cork. The following week on Sunday May 30th Tipperary will face their near neighbours Waterford at home. The final game of Division 1 B will be against the reigning All Ireland Champions Dublin on Sunday 6th June also at home. Both home game venues have yet to be confirmed.
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