Des Ryan, the former head of sports science and medicine at Arsenal, will lead an overhaul of Tipperary's athletic and development structures.

The overhaul is one of the aims of a partnership between Tipperary GAA and Setanta College.

The joint venture will seek to create a pathway of progress for players from academy right through to senior level. The structure will cover Tipperary hurling and football teams across all grades.

County senior hurling manager Colm Bonnar and coach Tommy Dunne are both graduates of Setanta College and will see the 2022 Tipp teams work closely with the college which is based in Thurles.

The area of strength and conditioning has been identified as a key priority for Tipp underage teams, with Setanta College specialising in providing higher education across the field of sports science, sports psychology, and exercise nutrition.

The programme will be led by Ryan, now director of coaching and performance at Setanta College.

Dr Liam Hennessy, former Bayern Munich and IRFU head of fitness, will also be involved. Both have previously led youth development structures across rugby, soccer, and GAA, and will be overseeing a team of 12 experienced S&C coaches.

Tipp players will have access to the facilities, equipment and technology in Setanta’s elite-performance facility, located adjacent to Semple Stadium in Thurles.

It’s a new approach for Tipperary GAA, aiming to create a joined-up structure that will prepare players for the transition from underage to senior level.

Previously, athletic development programmes were delivered to teams separately by their relevant coaching staff.

Chairman of Tipperary GAA, Joe Kennedy, said: "This is a major development in the delivery of athletic training programs for all Tipperary players in both codes. The benefit of this partnership will be seen over the next few years and will give our teams every chance to be successful in the future.

"Setanta College provide highly trained coaches and the very best equipment to measure and monitor athletic performance and are leaders in this field."

Speaking about the partnership, Ryan said: "Tipperary GAA has enjoyed great success in recent years across both codes, and our aim will be to help build on the foundations already in place as the county embarks on a new approach to athletic development.

"The ambition is to continue challenging for the highest honours in the years to come and we look forward to supporting the teams in their preparations. Along with senior level, our team of coaches will work at academy level to support the development of youth players, helping Tipperary GAA to harness the talent and potential within the county."