TIPPERARY’S ATTACKING OPTIONS have been boosted by the addition of former senior and U21 All-Ireland winner Philly Ryan who linked up with the squad recently.
The Munster champions open up their Division 3 campaign away to Limerick this evening and they’ve lost Philip Austin (retired), Liam Casey (travelling) and Colin O’Riordan (AFL) from last year’s group.
But the arrival of Ryan, who has strong Tipperary links, will give David Power more firepower in a forward line that already includes Michael Quinlivan and Conor Sweeney.
“He has very sound Tipp connections,” said Power. “His father is from Tipp, Tommy Ryan, his uncle was on the 1971 team that won the All-Ireland hurling with Tipp. I think he scored the winning goal, or he scored a goal anyway.
“He has strong Tipp roots there. So really at the start of this year, he decided to give it a go with Tipp. So that’s how it came about.
“To be fair to Philip he has a hunger that he wants to achieve at senior inter-county level,” he said of the St Brigid’s clubman.
“I suppose he wants to prove to himself that he is at that standard, so we are certainly going to give him that opportunity.”
Power, who is recipient of the Gaelic Writers’ Association Football Personality of the Year sponsored by Sky Sports, is confident Ryan will add to the Premier set-up.
“He has only been down with us for four weeks,” he said.
“I am sure we will see some benefits. Hopefully, if he is with us for the next couple of years we will see big benefits from being involved with a serious set-up like Dublin.
“He is a great lad. He is really pushing hard and he is looking forward to getting some game-time during the league.”
Power remains in contact with O’Riordan, who returned to Australia last winter after helping Tipperary defeat Cork in the provincial decider.
“We’d be texting each other every so often. He made a start there two weeks ago with Sydney Swans. Look, he is a good lad.
“I have known him since 14, 15 years of age, so I suppose I’d be keeping in touch with him. It’s great, and hopefully he does well for the rest of the season.His future in Australia is uncertain as he enters the final year of his contract with the Sydney Swans.
“He is still in the Whatsapp group with the team. Look, I think it’s a fabulous opportunity for him.”I think when you go professional in a sport, you have to take it, because we all only live once and you have to take those opportunities.”
Highly-rated hurler Conor Bowe, winner of Munster U2o Hurler of the Year in 2019, has also joined the panel. He was an All-Ireland U20 hurling winner with the Premier under Liam Cahill that year and Power is impressed with how he’s trained so far.
“With the dual thing where the last number of years the dual thing hasn’t really been allowed in Tipperary, unfortunately, he hasn’t played at minor or under-21 football for Tipperary,” explained the manager.
“He was playing senior club football for his club Moyne Templetuohy last year and he caught our eye. We asked him in and he was delighted to be getting involved. He has trained really hard. We’ll see where things take him.”
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Former Munster Rugby underage player Alan Tynan initially joined the football county panel before Liam Sheedy came calling and he switched codes to the hurlers.
Power accepts that’s going to happen in a county where the hurling side are perennial All-Ireland contenders.
“We talk, and look I suppose he is a busy man and I am a busy man,” he said of Sheedy.
“We’d always have a talk in the off season and maybe before the season to see what players he is looking at. To be honest with you, I am in kind of a weak position. If he wants the player there is a good chance they are going to go to the hurling.
“That’s the reality of it so. But look, there is still enough of good footballers in the county, and I think we proved that last year as well.
“We are both in a privileged position.”
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