WHEN LIAM SHEEDY last took charge of the Tipperary senior hurlers, Lar Corbett was the star of the show.
The final game of Sheedy’s first tenure as Tipperary boss yielded an All-Ireland senior title in 2010, Corbett ransacked the Kilkenny defence for three goals in that epic decider.
The news of Sheedy’s return to the hotseat was warmly received by the hat-trick hero from that final yet Corbett stresses the requirement for patience and not to expect instant success with the former boss at the helm once more.
“(I’m) delighted to see Liam back but you have to feel sorry for Liam Cahill as well. I think when he’s in charge, whoever he gets with him, it’ll be done 100%. It gave a great lift to Tipperary people when we heard Liam was back in.
“Straight away, people are delighted. When they heard the name Liam Sheedy, heard the name being mentioned and that he was going to be the next Tipperary manager, everyone was delighted. That goes across the county. I haven’t met one person that was disappointed.
“There’s a bit of pressure on Liam and the players as well, people are picturing what he’d done in 2010 as well, to come back and do it again.
“I hope that pressure doesn’t come on straight away. The players are going to need a bit of time. Liam and his backroom team are going to need a bit of time.
Tipperary boss Liam Sheedy speaks with Lar Corbett during the 2009 hurling championship.
Source: James Crombie/INPHO
“You have to remember that time that he left with work commitments and family commitments as well. We would have been all very very disappointed when he left in 2010.
“But we have to remember that work comes first and family comes first as well, and sport probably comes third, and he put all those things first. As he says himself, he’s in a position now, he’s back around the Munster area, he’s in Limerick.
“To manage your county is probably one of the biggest achievement to be able to do in your sport. That itch is going to always be there.”
The notion of current squad members existing in a comfort zone is not once Corbett subscribes to.
“The guys will definitely know that time runs out because it runs out for everyone. Just to give the lads a bit of time, it’s a good panel of players there, and hopefully the guys coming in from Liam Cahill’s (U21) team blend in.
“I don’t know about lads just being in the comfort zone. I know an awful lot of lads that played with Tipp this year. They’re guys that work hard. I’ll make one prediction next year, for the league matches next year you’ll have an awful lot of Tipperary people going.
“Because they are going to have it in their memory of what happened in 2008, 2009, 2010. So we’ll keep that dream alive. There will be good energy this year. I’m looking forward to the league.”
It’s almost three years since Corbett brought his inter-county hurling career to a close but he is content with family life, club duties with Thurles Sarsfields and cheering on Tipperary from the stands.
Lar Corbett with his daughters after winning the Tipperary county senior hurling final last year.
Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO
“At the minute I’m 37. I’m going to keep playing anyway, definitely for another few years, because I enjoy it. I’ve never thought about the management side of things.
“The big kick I get out of the club at the minute is, just say there’s 35 lads in the dressing room, 17, 18-year-olds, and you’re having good craic.
“I think it’s very important in life, when things are over, you have to park them. I say that honestly. I really, really enjoyed the time I got from 2000 to 2015.
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“You have to enjoy what’s next. What was next for me was going back to the club. I’ve a wife and three daughters, I love that. So I think, “what’s next?” Don’t ever be looking back.
“I enjoy going to the Tipp matches and I don’t miss it. When I was in the stand in 2016 (at the All-Ireland final), I was delighted to be in the stand part of it.”
Tickets for the Amanda Stapleton Benefit Match between Kilkenny and Tipperary on Saturday 3 November are available to purchase here.
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