Tipperary under-20 football manager David Power pictured celebrating the Premier County's minor All-Ireland success alongside captain Liam McGrath in 2011.
Given the circumstances of the senior hurlers’ exit from this year’s championship campaign it was heartening to hear under-20 football manager David Power insist that his side will play “with confidence and without fear” against the Rebels. The blue and gold will face Cork on Saturday, June 16th in a Munster Under-20 Football Championship quarter-final at Páirc Uí Rinn, Cork (throw-in 7.30pm) with a place in the semi-final against Clare up for grabs at Cusack Park, Ennis on June 22nd.
“We are going down to Cork with confidence and without fear. And, when you have those two things anything is possible,” David Power, a proud Kilsheelan-Kilcash man, told the Tipperary Star this week.
And, should the Tipperary under-20 footballers go on to achieve something of substance this summer the turning point in their season may have already occurred.
By the time the Premier County take on the Rebels next Saturday the Tipperary lads will have come together for sixty-two collective sessions. And, that block of work has included the “guts of twenty matches”. David Power cast the net wide and also made sure that his players were exposed to the very best on the challenge match circuit.
Tipperary, however, suffered a significant defeat at the hands of Dublin, but, ironically, David Power believes that the experience will stand to the squad; the Premier County’s response to the defeat was to come out fighting. Indeed, David Power described the commitment level of his players this week as “incredible”.
“We played Dublin in the Aherlow tournament just over a month ago now and we, obviously, got a bad beating. We met the (following) Monday night and I think thirty out of maybe thirty-two players were there,” David Power told the Tipperary Star.
“Okay, we were after having a bad result and any team can have a bad result, that’s life, but the lads were prepared to fight back. We sat down on that Monday night and we said, right, we have to change a bit of tact here. We were probably being a bit too nice and we were probably (playing) a bit too open. And, ever since that night the lads have really come together. They have built up confidence in themselves. We are going down to Cork now with confidence and without fear. And, when you have those two things anything is possible. I would be hoping to get a good performance next Saturday because they (the players) are definitely in good spirits.
“It was a great wake-up call for all of us, but instead of giving up the players went back to training and we worked even harder. And, that is what really impressed me. The players are very resilient and I just hope that they can show that next Saturday night. And, I have no doubt that they will,” the Kilsheelan-Kilcash man added.
“We are after getting them to a level now where I am happy we will be very, very competitive at the very least against Cork,” David Power said.
“It has been a really enjoyable process and I just feel that over the last number of weeks it is beginning to come together. And, if anything the players deserve to go out there and express themselves and get the very, very best out of themselves because they have put in a huge effort. I think that if we do that, number one: I think we will be very competitive and number two: we won’t have any regrets.”
This is the inaugural year of the under-20 championship - Tipperary lost to Limerick in last year's under-21 Munster quarter-final (0-14 to 0-16).
Moyle Rovers' Jack Harney will captain the Tipperary team while manager David Power (Kilsheelan-Kilcash) is joined on the management team by coach Mick O'Sullivan (Drom & Inch), assistant coach Kieran Maguire (Grangemockler-Ballyneale), mentors Tommy Toomey (Arravale Rovers) and Damian Lawlor (Kilruane MacDonagh's), strength and conditioning coach DJ O'Dwyer, physio James Maxwell, nutritionist Amy Maguire and goalkeeping coach Adrian Walsh (Kilsheelan-Kilcash).
And, the Tipperary panel of players reads as follows: Michael Barlow (Ardfinnan), Conn Bonnar (Cashel King Cormacs), Dáire Brennan (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), Dean Carew (Upperchurch-Drombane), Jack Delahunty (Newport), Paul Devlin (Éire Óg Annacarty), Jack Dolan (Fethard), Shane Doyle (JK Bracken's), Dáire Egan (Galtee Rovers), Brian Fitzpatrick (Cashel King Cormacs), Colin Floyd (Newport), Stephen Grogan (Cahir), Jack Harney (Moyle Rovers), Ben Hyland (Fr Sheehy's), Conal Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials), Ryan Lambe (Clonmel Commercials), John Lyons (Grangemockler-Ballyneale), Eoin McCormack (Knockavilla Kickhams), Conor McGeever (Clonmel Commercials), Éanna McBride (JK Bracken's), Conor McCarthy (Nenagh Éire Óg), Liam Meagher (Killenaule), Matthew Moroney (Arravale Rovers), Darragh O'Leary (Ardfinnan), Dan O'Meara (Kiladangan), Conor O'Sullivan (Clonmel Commercials), Rian Quigley (Moyle Rovers), Kian Quinn (Kilsheelan- Kilcash), Eoghan Ryan (Loughmore-Castleiney), John Ryan (Boherlahan-Dualla), Gavin Ryan (Clonmel Commercials) & Gavin Whelan (Ardfinnan).
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