Football first now, but O’Riordan would relish dual Tipp challenge

All-Ireland SFC Round
Galway v Tipperary
Saturday: O’Connor Park, Tullamore, 7pm
Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry)

Colin O’Riordan sees no problem in pursuing a dual senior inter-county career in the coming years.

The JK Brackens man has been excellent in the half-backs for the footballers this year and was one of the county U21s’ best performers in the extra-time Munster semi-final defeat by Clare last week.

He’s yet to join the senior hurling ranks but it’s known Eamon O’Shea has been keeping tabs on the talented teenager.

“I never had a problem with managing the dual thing,” said O’Riordan. “Every manager I have been involved with has had an understanding and understood what to expect from the players. They allow you to do what you feel is right. There is communication and once there is reasonable communication there is no reason you can’t do it. It’s something that is a dying breed but I’d love to give it a go. Time will tell, I suppose.”

Having somebody like fellow under-age dual player Steven O’Brien going through the same schedule helps.

“It’s good to have the likes of Steven. We’ve been playing with each other since 2011 and since then we’ve been best friends. It’s great to have someone to talk to about the dual situation.

“It’s great to have somebody who understands what you’re going through.”

After losing so cruelly to Cork, there were concerns Tipperary had put too much into the game and would find it difficult to lift themselves for the qualifiers. But as O’Riordan explained, they were able to change focus almost immediately.

“We said to ourselves on Sunday morning that we had to push on and there was a chance to put something together. We knew we were able to compete with Division 1 teams”

“There’s a lot of people talking about us but we don’t listen to that. There’s a bunch of players there, a panel of 30 and we’ve known all along that we’re good enough to compete.

“It’s obviously good to hear those things but it’s up to us to keep them coming. We set out at the start of the year to try and get Tipp football back on the map.

A visit to GAA HQ on Sunday week is the carrot on offer against Galway in Tullamore on Saturday. O’Riordan insists Tipperary don’t require such motivation.

“Croke Park is good, it is a factor, but you just want to win every game. It doesn’t really matter where the next game is on. You keep winning, you keep going and everyone is happy.

“I don’t care where the next game is on as long as we keep winning. If we can get over Galway it’s there but we won’t look at that until it comes.”

As part of a defence that coughed up three second half goals against Laois, O’Riordan accepts there is room for improvement this weekend.

“We set out our stall to win and Galway, we know the success they’ve had at underage. I know neutrals will see it as a bit of a shootout.

“We conceded four goals and that’s not good enough in any championship match. Hopefully, we can address those things and we’ll be on the right end of the result.”


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