‘That was really driving me mad’ – how Munster champs Tipp turned their season around

TIPPERARY FOOTBALL MANAGER David Power is our next coaching expert to feature on How To Win At Dominoes with host Shane Keegan.

Power guided the Premier County to Munster glory last November, shocking Cork in the final to secure their first senior provincial football title in 85 years.

Their achievement was particularly poignant as it coincided with the Bloody Sunday 1920 commemorations that were taking place that weekend. 

In this week’s epsiode Power reflects on Tipperary’s 2020 season as a whole and remarked on how the return of some key players helped inspire them to become Munster champions.

“We played Cork,” he begins, “and then the following week, we went up to Longford and we didn’t perform at all. We were absolutely dreadful, probably our worst performance.

“I went home and went, ‘What the hell are we doing?’ How do we go from playing really good football to… my style of play is that we play attacking football. I will never go into a dressing room and say, ‘Right, we’re going to have 14 men behind the ball and try to counter-attack.’

“We try to move the ball fast because we have some really top class forwards [and] we can score. I suppose that was really driving me mad.

“But I suppose Covid came in [at a time when] we weren’t going well. We had Offaly at home and Leitrim away and if that was played maybe before Covid, we could have been in serious bother. We could have been relegated and that’s being truthful about it.”

Power says that the aftermath of the county final between Clonmel Commercials and Loughmore-Castleiney was a pivotal time for his team.

He permitted the players from those clubs to have the night off when training took place the following Wednesday before welcoming them back into the fold on Friday.

  • ‘I will never forget the first day my session got torn to shreds. That was the start of that learning process’

Power says that seeing those players return brought a huge boost to the squad, particularly after losing John Meagher after he was invited to join the senior hurling panel.

They were also able to bring in AFL star Colin O’Riordan to strengthen their outfit even more.

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“We got Michael Quinlivan back, Liam Casey, Paudie Feehan came in as well. And all of a sudden then, things started to roll.

“I was aware that Colin was at home and we’d be texting over and back over the last couple of years anyway and we’d be fairly friendly.

“He said he’d come in on the Friday night and it gave me a great lift. That training when Colin and all the Clonmel Commericals lads came back in… like we would have had a small number at training on the Wednesday because there’s 10 of the Commercials team on our panel.

“Colin and Michael Quinlivan coming back in gave us a great lift. Training was really good from that night. We played Laois in our first practice match and played really well that night and won.

“I said to myself, ‘Things are going the right way now.”

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