Tipp minor boss Power rules out senior move

Tipperary yesterday began the search to find a replacement for John Evans who quit as senior football manager on Sunday.

A six-man committee has been put in place to find his successor, made up of football board chairman Noel Morris, secretary Michael Power, vice-chairman Joe Hannigan, PRO Hugh Coghlan, along with former football board administrators Pete Savage and Eddie Lonergan.

Tipp also confirmed that the three selectors who worked alongside Evans - Tommy Twomey, Joe Shiels and Brian Burke - will take charge for the remaining NFL fixtures against Longford and Offaly.

However, All-Ireland winning minor manager David Power last night ruled himself out of the running.

Power is adamant his focus remains on the county minor squad for the 2012 season. His charges begin the defence of their provincial and national crowns on April 14 against Kerry and the Kilsheelan-Kilcash clubman believes it would “be pure madness” to walk away now, insisting he is still learning his trade in inter-county football management.

“My focus is solely on the minors this year and it’d be crazy to think otherwise,” he said.

“We’re going down to Tralee in four weeks’ time to play Kerry and preparing for that game is my main focus. We’ve done loads of work with them already. I can’t do anything about the speculation but the truth is that it’d be pure madness for me to walk away from the minor setup now to go on to the seniors.

“I’m not going to lie, it is an ambition of mine to manage at senior level some day but I’m not ready for that at all yet.

“I said it repeatedly last year that I’m still very much serving my apprenticeship as a manager and learning the whole time.”

Power has also described as ‘very sad’ the manner in which Evans’s five-year reign in charge of the Tipperary senior side has ended and the 28-year-old paid tribute to the great achievements the Kerry native made in promoting Tipperary football.

“I think it’s very sad what’s after happening and the way it all ended. John has put in an unreal amount of work.

“We have definitely moved forward as a football county. I hope people don’t forget his achievements. He won two league promotions, a Munster U21 title and also helped us with the minors that won the All-Ireland last year. “I think some of the comments on websites and in social media since John stepped down have been absolutely ridiculous. There have been disappointments recently but you can’t just remember those defeats. People need to think of all the great days Tipperary football has had and all the great work John did.”

Despite the fact the senior side are rooted at the bottom of Division 3 after five successive defeats and the county U21s exited the Munster championship last week, Power remains steadfast in his belief the future outlook for Tipperary football is bright and they will make the breakthrough at senior level.

“I firmly believe we will make the breakthrough. There is loads of football talent coming through in Tipperary.

“For example we’re happy with how our preparations are going with the minors.

“Once last September ended, we wondered how we could improve things. If you rest on your laurels that’s when you go backwards, so we’ve been working hard.

“We have a lot of lads from last year and while that’s never a guarantee for anything, it does prove there is talent there in the county.

“We’d another boost last week with High School Clonmel qualifying for the Frewen Cup final. All these things help.

“Whoever takes over now as manager of the senior side needs to get the support from everyone involved in football in the county. We’ve had a knock back and it look certain that we’ll go down to Division 4 this year. I know people will talk about negatives now but we’re definitely good enough to be in Division 3 and we can bounce back as a county. “Tipperary football is a long-term project but there is plenty reason to be optimistic. There has been too much work put in and there is too much ability there for it all to go to waste.”

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