Minor success vital if Tipp is to maintain new level of hurling consistency, says new chairman

The new Chairman of the County Tipperary GAA Board Sean Nugent (Kilsheelan Kilcash) told delegates at the annual Convention in The Dome at Semple Stadium that he intends putting the club at the heart of the Association in the Premier County. And, he called on all volunteers to come forward and give of themselves for the sake of their clubs.

The new Chairman of the County Tipperary GAA Board Sean Nugent (Kilsheelan Kilcash) told delegates at the annual Convention in The Dome at Semple Stadium that he intends putting the club at the heart of the Association in the Premier County. And, he called on all volunteers to come forward and give of themselves for the sake of their clubs.

The former South Board Chairman has been Chairman of the CCC for the last three years as Vice Chairman of the County Board and he described his journey to the top position in Tipperary GAA as being like having “eventually reached their destination.”

“On that journey I have been very fortunate to have had the great honour over many years of serving in many positions at club, divisional and county level, to have worked with people of exceptional talent and to have seen this great organisation of the GAA develop into the single greatest amateur sporting and social force in the world today,” Mr Nugent said.

Expressing his pride at having the greatest honour bestowed upon him, Mr Nugent recalled the many people who helped shape his career in the GAA including his family members and his club Kilsheelan Kilcash.

He also congratulated retiring Chairman Barry O’Brien on his three outstanding years and laid out his own stall for the next three years.

“Any Chairman worth his salt in this the Premier County will want all our inter county teams in hurling and football to perform to the very best of their ability, to win Munster titles and All-Irelands, thus maintaining our proud tradition and building on the achievements of our illustrious past.

“In hurling we have shown a greater level of consistency over the last few years than in the previous twenty. Appearing in three All-Irelands in a row, winning in 2010, plus an U-21 All-Ireland title bodes well for the future. However, failure at minor in recent years has to be a major concern. In spite of the underage concern, spirit is high in hurling in the county and most analysts agree we have a team to take on allcomers.

“In football, the minor All-Ireland was, I believe, the major breakthrough of modern times. We need to follow that with top class performances in 2012 and target an U-21 title as well. History tells us from the experience of other counties who have won minor All-Irelands that success at adult level is not automatic or guaranteed. It is my belief that we will have to carry it on to a Munster senior final victory to claim our place as contenders for the Sam Maguire and I believe we can in a few years time,” he said.

The Chairman pledged to follow through on the 125 page Premier Plan – A Strategic Vision and Action Plan for Tipperary 2011 – 2015 which was launched just before the All-Ireland senior hurling final.

“The plan analyses and evaluates all aspects of the GAA in the county and the benchmarking exercise on the inter county scene gives us a stark reminder of our performance in this area over the last thirty years. The plan provides a vision and a blueprint for the future across a whole spectrum of Gaelic games activity in the county. I ask you today to read this plan in its entirety and I suggest that not many have done so. I ask you to open your mind to the vision for change that’s incorporated in this plan because the implementation of its contents will be high on my agenda over the next three years,” he said and added that a Chairman and implementation committee will be appointed in the coming weeks to oversee this aspect of the GAA in the county.

Acknowledging that there is great concern in the county over the state of the finances, the new Chairman said that income is decreasing, while costs are rising. “We need to reverse this trend. While I am very concerned at the problem, I am not in any way daunted by the challenge ahead as I believe we have the will, the capacity and the public support to turn the tide,” he said.

On the club issues, the Chairman said that the club is at the heart of everything in the GAA, as far as he is concerned. “The club is the hub on which it all revolves around. If you have a vibrant club scene it rubs off on the inter county scene, gives a stronger County Board and in simple terms, it lifts all boats. The numbers attending some club AGMs have dropped either from lack of interest or from fear of getting a job. I say to all those potential volunteers out there, your club needs you, your county needs you, and the GAA needs you,” said the former Chairman and Secretary of his own club Kilsheelan Kilcash.