A decision was taken by the board and Michael Ryan’s management not to enter before the Munster Council chose to give each of the five participating counties five games over the space of 22 days between last Sunday and January 24.
Speaking last month, Ryan said Tipperary were “more than happy to take control of our January. The league is so frantic with two games at the start before a two-week break. Then you have four games in a row so it doesn’t give you much time to work with the players.”
Having removed the colleges and universities from the competition at the request of the counties, the Munster Council believe the changes could provide better preparation for their teams ahead of next month’s Allianz League. However, Tipperary, having competed in three of the competition’s last four finals, have missed out.
“We just felt it was the way to go at the time,” said county secretary Tim Floyd. “We didn’t realise then that there was going to be a match every week. That was one of the reasons why we opted out because we weren’t guaranteed games, and in January, it’s been a bit of a lottery. Also, a lot of players would have been with their colleges and that has changed. But, look it, we have challenge games organised ahead of the league.”
Tipperary will begin their season in the JK Brackens pitch in Templemore this Sunday when they face Offaly, who have a gap week between their facile Walsh Cup victory over DIT at the weekend and their clash with Kilkenny in Birr on January 17.
Entry to the challenge match is €10 with all proceeds going to St Colmcille’s Boys Primary School, Templemore.
Tipperary open their Division 1A against Dublin in Thurles on Saturday, February 13, while Tipperary native Eamonn Kelly’s first league game in charge of Offaly will come against Clare the following day in Ennis.