EAMON O'SHEA'S appointment as Tipperary hurling manager will be greeted with a measure of elation and relief -- by Premier diehards reeling from the calamity of this year's All-Ireland semi-final against Kilkenny.
The return of O'Shea -- a hugely influential coach during the Sheedy era -- may prompt several veterans otherwise mulling over their futures to stick around for 2013.
At one stage last week, with Sheedy and Nicky English having ruled out managerial comebacks and O'Shea deemed "unlikely" to be available either, the search for a new boss to replace Declan Ryan was starting to look somewhat desperate.
But negotiations accelerated in recent days and culminated in the ratification of the Galway-based NUIG professor by the Tipperary county board last night.
While Liam Sheedy was the obvious figurehead when Tipp ran Kilkenny desperately close in 2009, before halting the 'drive for five' in a classic final in 2010, O'Shea's role was seen as critical.
His tactical acumen, hurling brain and coaching skills have been lauded by the players who worked under him, and there is already speculation that seasoned campaigners such as Brendan Cummins, Eoin Kelly, Paul Curran and John O'Brien will now wish to stay involved next year.
O'Shea is credited with developing the style of play that toppled Kilkenny in the 2010 decider and afforded the space for Lar Corbett to plunder a hat-trick of goals.
There is no confirmation yet regarding O'Shea's backroom team but Michael Ryan (a selector under Sheedy) has been linked with a role again, as have former players Declan Fanning and Eamon Corcoran.
On the football front, Tipperary have also confirmed the permanent appointment of Peter Creedon who, as interim manager last summer, led the county to round four of the qualifiers.