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Super Macs inspiring hurlers

By John Campbell

Kieran McGeeney will don a different sporting hat this weekend.

The 2002 Armagh All Ireland winning captain will be in Tipperary's corner when they meet Dublin in the All Ireland quarter-finals at Semple Stadium, Thurles tomorrow.

Nor is he is the only member of that all-conquering Orchard County outfit to find himself in the hurling spotlight this weekend.

Enda McNulty, a capable defender in the team, has since become a renowned sports psychologist. Tomorrow he will be part of the back-up team for manager Liam Dunne's Wexford who face Limerick in the other quarter-final on the Thurles double bill.

McNulty's most recent mission, of course, was with the Ireland rugby team.

Tipperary manager Eamon O'Shea and his assistant Michael Ryan enlisted McGeeney's services as a motivational coach and already his work has been lauded.

"Kieran plays an important role. The experience he brings is invaluable and he is a great source of information and experience for us, albeit in a different, related sport as far as we're concerned," declares Ryan.

"When you think about Kieran McGeeney, you think of excellence. If he helps us take a step towards excellence and a better performance, we'll be delighted."

It's proving a busy summer for McGeeney who has also played a key role as Paul Grimley's No 2 in bringing Armagh into the last 12 of the All Ireland football championship.

No sooner will the referee have sounded the final whistle at Thurles than McGeeney will be re-focussing strongly on Armagh's bid to overcome Meath at Croke Park tomorrow week.

And on that same day he will also get the opportunity run the rule again over the Kildare side he managed for six years before becoming realigning himself with his native county.

Kildare, who have already terminated Down's All Ireland championship hopes, meet Monaghan in the second game on an attractive Croke Park double-bill and could conceivably form a barrier to future Armagh progress.

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