On Saturday evening in Páirc na nGael, Limerick David Power’s Tipperary junior football team will face their Limerick counter-parts in a provincial quarter-final - the junior clash takes place at 5pm and precedes the senior contest between the sides at 7pm.
“The killer thing about it is that Tipperary play Limerick in the hurling on the Sunday in Thurles. It is hard to expect patrons of the games to travel on both days, but, that said, we are hoping for some strong Tipperary support on the day. Support is important to the players,” Tipperary junior football manager David Power told the Tipperary Star.
Power is joined on the management team by Shane Gavin (Newport), Pat Moroney (Aherlow) and Donegal man Gerry McGill (Emo, Laois) - 2014 represents David Power’s first year in charge on the junior side while the Kilsheelan-Kilcash man also took responsibility for the Tipperary under-21 team this term.
Tipperary last encountered Limerick in 2009 when the Shannonsiders won by four points.
During the intervening years Tipperary lost to Kerry by seven points in 2010, by eleven points to Kerry in 2011 and by two points to Kerry in 2012. That exceptional Kerry side won the All-Ireland title in 2012 and the following summer Tipperary were drawn to face the Kingdom once more.
On this occasion Tipperary had the measure of their Munster rivals and won with seven points to spare.
Following that encouraging result Tipperary lost to 14-man Waterford in a Munster semi-final; in injury time Tipperary led that encounter only to come undone thanks to a late Conor O’Shea goal (0-15 to 1-13).
Tipperary last won the provincial junior title in 1998 (the Premier’s seventh title).
This year the junior team is being used as a development squad for the senior team - the eldest player on the squad, for example, is 27 and the youngest is 19.
“The big thing they want from the junior team this year is to use it as a development squad for the senior team rather than pick a second best team in Tipperary.
“The idea is to select from a younger panel than last year and to pick and develop players who could play for the Tipperary senior team in years to come,” David Power explained.
“The big thing about this team is the development of players and to look to the future for Tipperary football. That said we are going down to the Gaelic Grounds in a positive frame of mind and we will be hoping to get a positive result against Limerick.”
A whole raft of club hurling and football fixtures have hampered the preparation of the side in recent weeks, but David Power has managed to guide his side through six challenge games which included a series of positive performances against teams like Nemo Rangers and Kildare.
“We had some very positive performances. There is no about it, but we are going down to the Gaelic Grounds in a positive frame of mind,” David Power said.
Tipperary junior football panel to face Limerick: Liam Casey (Cahir), Evan Comerford (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), Laurence Coskeran (Aherlow), Kevin Fahey (Clonmel Commercials), James Feehan (Killenaule), Sean Flynn (Fr Sheehy’s), Sean Patrick Geurins (JK Bracken’s), Thomas Hanley (Aherlow), Thomas Hassett (Moyne-Templetuohy), John Hennessy (Aherlow), Greg Henry (Killenaule), Colman Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials), Jason Lonergan (Clonmel Commercials), Darren Lowry (Arravale Rovers), Dean McEnroe (JK Bracken’s), David McGrath (Moyle Rovers), Ross McGrath (Monaleen, Limerick), Michael O’Dwyer (Arravale Rovers), Conor O’Sullivan (Galtee Rovers), Pearse Richardson (Arravale Rovers), Alan Rockett (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), Cathal Scully (JK Bracken’s), Paul Shanahan (Upperchurch-Drombane), Gearoid Slattery (Cashel King Cormacs), Darragh Lyons (Ballyporeen), TJ Ryan (Rockwell Rovers).