Tipperary hurling Legend Eoin Kelly has a simple message for the county’s charges ahead of All-Ireland Final on Sunday- meet Kilkenny’s intensity levels to win.
Speaking as Tipperary GAA received a timely financial injection in a busy year on the playing field across both codes, Kelly said Tipperary will meet higher intensity levels on Sunday than they have encountered so far this year.
“For Tipp and Kilkenny, it’s not the first time they’ve played in an All-Ireland final over the last couple of seasons. We’ve came out the wrong side of many of these finals with Kilkenny, in league and championship, so it’s a massive challenge for Tipp on Sunday,” said the double All-Ireland winner and former captain.
“They didn’t have a very hard Munster Championship; games were over with fifteen minutes to go and they didn’t bring it against Galway either so they'll have to step up three or four notches.
“When Tipp have brought that (intensity) in the past in All-Ireland finals, there has only been a puck of a ball between us, so it’s the first thing Mick Ryan will want to see on the training ground and I think it’s the first thing he will look for in the first few minutes of the All Ireland final; hooking, blocking and harassing the Kilkenny forwards."
However, the Mullinahone feels the signs are positive that Tipp. will bring the focus required.
“It’s the feeling I have for Tipp, even in the semi-final against Galway, even though we were behind, I never felt we were going to lose.
“I think it reflects on the calibre of player, and whether it’s Michael Ryan that has brought that teamwork, but they really look like a really united bunch and a focused bunch. And they are playing as a team which is what you want."