Seán Powter said there is “a genuine belief” within the Cork panel that they are going to topple Kerry in the latter’s backyard this weekend.
Central to this belief, the 23-year-old explained, is the manner in which the group has bonded over last year’s Munster final defeat to Tipperary and the confidence brought to the table by players who won an All-Ireland U20 title two summers ago.
“I fully believe we’re going to beat them. We’ve beaten them all the way up, U21, and we beat them last year,” Powter remarked.
“This year, we’ve bonded over the loss to Tipperary. Games like Clare and Limerick the last day, we would have lost those games two or three years ago.
“Tipperary’s playing at the back of our minds, as well. We have a Munster final to rectify and that’s been biting us since November last year.”
The panel’s more experienced members, Powter added, have picked up on the fearlessness of those not long in the door.
“I think that the younger players have an arrogance about them. Since winning the U20 final, they feel, ‘Jeez, I can take on the world,’ and that has fed up to the older fellas.
There is a genuine belief that we’re going to go down to Killarney and win a Munster final.
The versatile Douglas clubman was man of the match in last year’s extra-time Munster semi-final win over this weekend’s opponents, a low-scoring arm wrestle pockmarked by endless sequences of lateral handpassing and congested defences.
Powter is expecting a much different contest at Fitzgerald Stadium.
“There’ll be a lot more football the next day, kick-passing and stuff. It’ll be a stiffer test for the defence but I feel like we’ll be up for them.”
It was Seán O’Shea he picked up in last year’s semi-final and if it is the 2019 All-Star he is again assigned on Sunday, Powter won’t get too wrapped up in the capabilities of the Kenmare centre-forward.
“I’ve played with Seán (at UCC) and I know his game, but I focus on myself, visualising tackling him and sending him up the other side of the pitch, that kind of thing.”
His direct running game was so central to Cork dumping Kerry out of the 2020 Championship, as it was in the county’s recent Munster semi-final, during which he kicked two first-half points from play.
His ability to operate as an auxiliary forward is both a help and a hindrance, he said.
“Sometimes, I don’t know where I’m going to end up playing until the Thursday night before a match, which can be annoying, but I’m just happy to be playing rather than watching in the stand with a torn hamstring.”
Given the lengthy period of time he has spent on the sideline because of nine separate hamstring tears, there was concern at the sight of Powter being substituted 41 minutes into the Munster semi-final win over Limerick. In the end, it materialised to be nothing more than a dead leg.
“It’s never something that has played on my mind. When I’m in a game, I just let go. I feel like when I do start thinking about it in a match is when I’ll have to consider stopping playing.”