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John O'Dwyer celebrates after scoring Tipperary's third goal against Kilkenny at Croke Park on Sunday.
John O'Dwyer celebrates after scoring Tipperary's third goal against Kilkenny at Croke Park on Sunday.

John O'Dwyer delighted with Tipperary triumph


By Cian O'Connell

An honest and frank meeting with Liam Sheedy paved the way for John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer's return to form in 2019.

Following a frustrating spell O'Dwyer was delighted to occupy a central role in Tipperary's All Ireland triumph.

A Championship scoring return of 1-19 from eight games illustrates O'Dwyer's craft, but the graft is what carried most relevance under Sheedy.

"Liam brought a big backroom with him," O'Dwyer reflected following Sunday's emphatic win over Kilkenny at Croke Park. "His nutritionist and S&C team were massive.

"I had an operation at the start of the year. It kind of held me back last year a small bit, but that's not an excuse. I just wasn't good enough to get onto the team. Liam came back and he told me a few home truths at the start of the year and I worked a lot with the S&C team.

"It was just about getting that base fitness, that was basically it. It's not just a personal thing, the team as a whole, we all did it together, we went through thick and thin together and that was the most pleasing part.

"Personally, it's good to win, to play but there's 39 other players in the squad. Just collectively it's brilliant for us."  

Having earned a second All Ireland medal O'Dwyer acknowledged the significance of Tipperary's success. “It’s a great feeling," O'Dwyer admits.

“This is my second All-Ireland and it’s after taking us three years to get back again, so they are moments that you cherish. It probably looked comfortable because they went down to 14 men, but it wasn’t.

“After we got our second goal, Kilkenny came with a bit of a barrage. They attacked into the full-forward line with TJ Reid there. It wasn’t simple. The scores didn’t come too easy, like. We worked hard.

“That was one of our pillars, to work hard and make sure that just because they were down to 14 men that we didn’t take our foot off the pedal."

“I suppose 2016 was my first. Your first, you’re always going to cherish it that bit more. But having the ability to come back and win another one is a different kind of feeling."

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