Charlie McGeever has backed Tipperary’s dual star Stephen Quirke to make his mark as a senior inter-county footballer in the years to come.
Quirke, brother of 2011 All-Ireland minor medallist Philip, is captain of the county’s minor hurlers and will partner Jack Kennedy at midfield for the footballers in this evening’s Electric Ireland provincial semi-final with Clare (7.30pm, Semple Stadium).
From the Moyle Rovers club, Quirke and his clubmate Danny Owens are creating history this year by captaining Tipperary’s minor teams in either code.
And Quirke has demonstrated his class this season, with three points from play in the quarter-final victory over Waterford, a week after his ball-winning exploits for the hurlers against the Déise.
And McGeever, who is aiming to guide Tipperary through to a fourth Munster MFC final in five seasons, is a big fan of the teenage tyro.
He said: “Stephen is one of the leaders of this team and it’s a unique situation that the Moyle Rovers club boast the captains of both minor teams.
“Stephen’s physical attributes and leadership qualities are very important to us.
“He’s someone that I expect to see playing in the Tipperary senior colours in the near future. But he’s one of many.”
McGeever has also warned of the massive threat posed by Clare this evening, admitting that deadly forwards Keelan Sexton and Seán Malone will take some watching.
A weakened Clare lost to Kerry in their opening fixture but roared into the semi-finals with a 12-point victory over Limerick in the play-offs.
McGeever noted: “They’re defensively very strong and they overlap a lot from the back line, carrying the ball well.
“They have two exceptional forwards in Malone and Sexton, who’s already on their senior team.
“He’s already an exceptional player off left and right and Malone is a pocket-rocket inside, and their top scorer.
“This is a Clare team with a real cutting edge.”
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