All Ireland Minor Football Final

In recent weeks all the attention and spotlight has been on the Tipp’s Senior hurlers – however the Tipp Minor footballers have been nice and quietly preparing for their big day when they lock horns with Dublin in the All Ireland Final on the 18th September.

It’s strange how history can often repeat itself – in 1984 Tipp and Dublin clashed in the All Ireland Final , with Dublin winning by 1-9 to 0-4. It has taken both teams until this year to return to an All Ireland Final. That Dublin Team contained a certain Jim Stynes who later made the switch to Aussie Rules (successfully I might add) and won the Brownlow Medal in the late 80’s.

The Tipp team of 1984 was coached by Seamus McCarthy (Galtee Rovers) and was a serious outfit – any team that contained players like Brian Burke , Ger Ryan , John Owens , Tommy Sheehan , Jim O’ Meara , Sean Brett , John Hackett and our own Tom Anglim amongst others was a team to be reckoned with.
The 1984 team beat Limerick , Cork and Kerry in  Munster , New York in the Q/ F, Roscommon in the All Ireland semi-final before losing to Dublin in the final. Looking back on that bunch of players (many who played Senior for Tipperary) they were quite unlucky not to win at least one Munster U-21 football title. Enough about the past , what of the 2011team? Well they’re certainly taken the hard route to Croke Park , beating Limerick ,  trailed Kerry by 11 points in Semple Stadium and came back to win it, won the Munster Final in Killarney against a strong Cork team. In the All Ireland Quarter Final they beat Meath  before overcoming the Rossies in the semi-final to set up a date with a Dessie Farrell managed Dublin team.
To the outsider , having a Tipperary Minor team contest a football decider may come as a surprise – however serious work is being done at underage level in Tipperary in recent years. At U14 , U15 , U16 , U17 ,  Minor and U21 levels Tipperary is no longer just a stepping stone for the Cork’s and Kerry’s of this world – in fact Tipperary underage football teams are starting to compete on the equal footing with Cork and Kerry going by recent results!
This 2011 team brings many strengths and positives to the party – a good goalkeeper , a tight defence , a big and mobile centre-feild and a set of forwards that work incredibly hard for each other – their style of play is well rehearsed , methodical build-up from the back with much hand-passing until it reaches mid-field and then a quick ball to the target man Michael Quinlivan or Liam McGrath, The team possessed great spirit (witness their come back against Kerry) size – four or five men over 6′ 2” , skill and confidence.
Can they do it Against Dublin? Well , from along way out Dublin have been the team to beat.  Dublin also is a big physical team – strong and fast in the backs , a very big centre-field pairing , but not too mobile (could there be an advantage here for Tipperary?) and 6 forwards that will take watching , in particular Ciaran Kilkenny( their dual-star). Despite their imposing physique and their impressive run to the final , Dublin was very lucky to overcome a plucky Galway team that very nearly turned them over.
I’m sure the Tipperary Management team have looked at the video of the Dublin\Galway match once or twice in recent weeks to fine tune Tipperary’s tactics for the final.
Clonmel Commercials, Moyle Rovers and Loughmore/Castleiney dominate the starting 15- no representatives from St- Pats this time around – but give it a couple of years and I’m sure we’ll be following the exploits of Conor Clancy and Cathal Mahoney on the Tipp Minor Teams.
In conclusion, best of luck to David Power, his selectors, trainer plus John Evans, and most of all to Captain Liam McGrath and his team mates- Up Tipp!
Posted by Just Do It.

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