Ahead of the League resumption, Limerick legend Ciaran Carey believes the competition will act as a dress rehearsal for John Kiely and co as they seek to defend their All-Ireland, Munster and League titles.
After failing to retain the All-Ireland that they won in 2018, Carey feels that the All-Ireland will be the number one target as John Kiely uses the League to blood fringe players.
There are six changes to the team that beat Waterford in the All-Ireland final in December, but those who are given the chance against Tipp are more than capable says Carey.
“I see it as a dress rehearsal. Its an opportunity to get the squad together. No better place to test a guy than to give him some gametime and see what he is like under pressure. The big one in the modern game, its all about first touch. Holding onto the ball and retaining possession. If your touch is good, you wont give away possession. Every mistake is penalised. It’s giving John Kiely a chance to bring them all together.
“It’s a chance to bring them all together. Get that army together, get a bit of momentum. Even though they may be under strength in some areas, they can still put it up to whatever team is put in front of them, even under strength.”
As for the opposition, Carey believes that the Tipp team are in a process of rebuilding. The golden crop of Noel McGrath, Seamus Callanan and the Mahers, Brendan and Paudie are all the wrong side of 30.
Tipp did win a couple of U20 All-Irelands in recent years but Carey reckons they will need to be patient before the are a force again.
“I watched them closely last year. They were All-Ireland champions in 2019 and no team wins an All-Ireland handy but I suppose they had it that bit handier when Limerick were knocked out by Kilkenny. Tipp knew they had the measure of Kilkenny. Limerick went about their business anytime they met Tipp last year and they let them know what would happen.
I don’t see Tipperary being the force they were two years ago. I think Liam Sheedy is in the process of rebuilding. That is something that has to happen but when you are rebuilding, its not going to click, its not going to happen straight away. I don’t see them as the force they were but in time I could see them being exceptional again. Only time will tell.”
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