John Evans has called on the GPA to intervene in Tipperary to end the “nonsense of Steven O’Brien sitting on his backside”.
O’Brien, a leading figure during the county’s run to the 2015 All-Ireland U21 football final, opted to throw his lot in with the senior hurlers this year but has not featured in either league or championship.
Former Tipperary football manager Evans says it is imperative that O’Brien returns to Liam Kearns’ squad in 2017, particularly with midfielder Peter Acheson travelling abroad next year.
“What I’m afraid of after a display like that is that Peter Acheson will go abroad, then some other guy will say it is time to retire. That has to be carefully monitored and players have to be brought back in such as Steven O’Brien,” Evans told Radio Kerry’s Terrace Talk.
“Steven O’Brien is sitting on his backside and I just hope that somebody like the GPA will step in and stop this nonsense of having a player playing one code even though two managers want him.
“If he is that important, surely two intelligent men like Michael Ryan and Liam Kearns, no blame to either of them, can stop this silly stuff of Steven O’Brien sitting on his backside while 15 or 20 guys die for their county on the field. There has to be some answer to that.”
Evans also cast doubt on whether or not the Premier County will soar as high next season.
“I remember when we went from Division Four to three to two, you’d expect that there was going to be a huge surge of football in Tipperary. Yet, the opposite happened.
“My big fear is that Tipperary may not keep the push on, may not keep a lid on it and they’ll not develop the underage as much as they could. They have a history of a crest and a trough, rising really, really high and then dropping down.”
Evans, a native of Killorglin, reckons Kerry will dethrone Dublin this weekend if they hold their discipline.
“Dean Rock is kicking very well. So while we have Bryan Sheehan, they have Rock and he’s not missing. You cannot afford to foul this fast, pacy Dublin team. The task ahead of Kerry is enormous. However, they are 11 months waiting for it.
“I don’t think the semi-final is going to be high-scoring. It is going to be a possession-ridden game. It is going to be so intriguing from a tactical point of view. I think we can do it. Dublin are weakened at the back. Never underestimate Kerry.”
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