Being parachuted in mid-season may not be ideal preparation for the start of any inter-county managerial reign but Peter Creedon is not complaining.
After John Evans’ departure as Tipperary senior football boss in March, Creedon was ushered in as his replacement, yet seasons spent at the helm of county underage teams had helped inform him about the players at his disposal.
“It was sprung upon us quickly as that they just needed someone to hold the thing until the end of the season,” he said. “I am there to the end of the season and whether we are asked to do it next year or not I don’t know. I’m enjoying it. I worked with 10 or 12 of the players that would be core members of the squad at minor and U21. I know them on a first name basis and they knew the story. We bedded in quite quickly.”
Taking over a team that was sliding towards relegation from Division 3 seemed a difficult task but Creedon has detected a positive response from the squad ahead of tomorrow’s showdown with Kerry.
“The morale seems to be quite high in training. What we are interested in is what will happen in the Kerry game, how they will react if we go four or five points behind.
“Will they hang the heads or pick it up? That’s the challenge we are laying down for them and how will they react after the Kerry game. Will they put in a big effort for the qualifiers later on? Tipperary are in Division 4 next year and getting out of that fast is the priority. It’s probably more important than this championship campaign to be honest, to get going again.”
When surveying the overall Tipperary football landscape, Creedon remains optimistic with the county minor side’s Munster semi-final win over Cork last Wednesday night the latest underage success.
“Tipp is moving in the right direction. I would imagine in five years’ time Tipp could be going toe to toe with Cork and Kerry. They mightn’t be beating them but they could be putting it down to the last five or 10 minutes.
“It’s certainly within their grasp to start getting to All-Ireland quarter-finals. There’s a lot of hard work to be done. If you look back at the last 10 years, take away the top four or five counties and how many people get there. Look at the work Kildare are doing and they can’t get over the finish line. But it is possible to be a team that everybody else would fear playing and that would be a nice place to be.”
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