John Evans fears Tipperary will fall short against Kerry

Former manager John Evans believes that Tipperary will fall short against his native Kerry in Sunday’s Munster senior football final.

Evans, who managed Tipperary from 2007-2012, believes the absence of some key players will prove too much for the visitors to cope with at Fitzgerald Stadium.

If Tipp had the likes of Colin O’Riordan, Steven O’Brien and Seamus Kennedy available, Evans would give them every chance but he’s predicting Kerry will claim a fourth successive provincial crown.

Evans, Roscommon’s boss last year, reflected: “Looking at their (Tipperary’s) form so far this year, they could have got promoted and could have got relegated from Division 3.

“When you’re a team like that, you’re in between, you haven’t raised your head above the parapet.

“I do feel the talent is there but they need all of their talent. However, the sum of the parts can often give you a more potent, resilient, tougher and more ambitious team than you would have if you had your two or three big names, the likes of Colin O’Riordan, Steven O’Brien and Seamus Kennedy.

“But if you’re to make a breakthrough, the reality is that you need those three.

“They have a huge competitive edge and all three are very skilful.

“I coached and trained them and know exactly what you have — they’re players you’d go into the trenches with.”

O’Riordan is forging a professional AFL career for himself with the Sydney Swans while Kennedy and O’Brien are current members of the Tipp senior hurling panel.

And Evans believes Tipp will also miss experienced pair Paddy Codd and Barry Grogan, who opted out of the set-up this year.

He added: “You have such great warriors in that team who can’t be underestimate — the likes of Ciarán McDonald, Robbie Kiely, Brian Fox, George Hannigan, Peter Acheson, Michael Quinlivan and Philip Austin.

“But I suppose there are a couple of more guys who should still be there — Paddy Codd and Barry Grogan. For some reason or another, they’re not able to play this year and here Tipp are in a Munster final.

“Paddy and Barry would be major plusses to you. When you’re a weaker county like that, to be missing the likes of Kennedy, O’Brien, O’Riordan, Codd and Grogan, my God, you just can’t afford to be without that quality.”

Here’s a little extra sport: BallTalk TV look ahead to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.


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