Tipperary’s All-Ireland dream ‘becoming a reality’

Tipperary football board chairman Joe Hannigan has suggested that winning an All-Ireland senior title by 2020 is “no longer a pipe dream” and “fast becoming a reality.”

Tipp contested their first All-Ireland semi-final in 81 years against Mayo last August and hopes are high manager Liam Kearns and his players can build on that.

Hannigan has also appealed for “accommodation” on the use of dual players at minor level next year, insisting that prospective young stars wishing to play both codes should be allowed to do so.

Minor hurling manager Liam Cahill insisted in 2016 it was one code, but not both, for Tipp minor players, a stance he can claim was vindicated as his team cruised to Munster and All-Ireland glory.

But Hannigan said: “We have to come up with an accommodation that players interested in playing both can do so. To achieve success in hurling and football in a county, there are always going to be issues, but the only way forward is for everyone to work together. It’s an issue we have to look at.”

When Barry O’Brien took over as Tipperary county board chairman in December 2008, his passionate opening address may have provoked some muffled sniggers among more sceptical delegates.

O’Brien insisted at the timeTipperary football teams should be aiming for All- Ireland titles at minor, junior, U21 and senior levels by 2020.

Underage and senior success achieved in the intervening years has fuelled hope Tipp could win an All-Ireland senior football title for the first time since 1920.

And Hannigan told delegates attending Monday’s football board convention: “We can look back at the 2020 vision now – the way things are going, it’s no longer a pipe dream, it’s fast becoming a reality.We are looking forward to 2017. We have to build on this success and drive it on.

“We have the calibre of player in the county to do it. That should be our target and we are well on our way to doing it.

“2016 was a great year – it was a year when the boys became men and we look forward to driving Tipperary football on now in 2017. We achieved serious recognition. People all around the country are talking about Tipperary and the brand of football that the team played. We need to look to the future, build on the success and back up the work that we have done.

“If we can build and go on a couple of extra steps on from 2016, that will put us within touching distance of an All-Ireland.”

Looking ahead to next season, Hannigan challenged the Tipp senior footballers to gain promotion from Division 3 of the Allianz Football League and to win a first Munster senior football title since 1935.

After contesting the 2016 provincial final, Tipp are straight through to next year’s Munster semi-final, where they will face Cork or Waterford. And Hannigan said: “If we get to a final, they might be looking to get us to Páirc Uí Chaoimh but we’ll have to look at where we are with a home fixture.”

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Aidan O’Mahony adamant Eamonn Fitzmaurice is the right man for Kerry job

Liam Kearns says championship proposals will make life more difficult

Fitzgibbon and Sigerson Cup holders learn of opponents in opening rounds

Diarmuid Connolly blames ‘RTÉ clown’ for black card rules


Breaking Stories

Pat Lam explains reasons for decision to leave Connacht

UEFA charges Celtic for crowd trouble at Manchester City

Tipperary hurling legend Mick Roche dies

The hardest Manchester City transfer quiz in the world

Lifestyle

Full disclosure in Oliver Stone's new film about CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden

What to buy for the most awkward people in your life this Christmas

Children's hospice makes sure families experience a truly precious Christmas

Making Cents: PCPs are the deals for those looking for new wheels

More From The Irish Examiner