Having only turned 20 in July, he is the youngest player on the Ireland International Rules panel but Seán Powter isn’t afraid to speak up for himself.
When it comes to ribbing his colleagues he is holding his own. Like Melbourne, he is rooming with his Douglas clubmate Eoin Cadogan in Adelaide at the moment. “Yeah, still stuck with him looking in the mirror the whole time tensing!”
Powter also has no qualms in saying that Ireland have been motivated my comments coming out of the Australian camp such as those from Chad Winyard about the home side having an advantage because they’re professional athletes.
Powter’s speed will be a major asset to counter Australia’s physicality but the youngster accepts he can’t hold onto the ball for too long.
“Joe’s (Kernan) warned me not to bring the ball into contact, just avoid it. It’s something different. We know the Aussies are going to be aggressive. That’s all they’re saying is aggression, aggression. We saw what your man said about us, calling us amateurs and saying they have higher fitness levels. That’ll just drive us on.”
Eddie Betts, who recently lined out in a Gaelic football game in Adelaide prepare to for these tests, is regarded as the Australian most comfortable with the round ball. His lower centre of gravity could cause problems for Ireland but Powter, who is of similar stature, is eager to take him on. “Joe hasn’t said anything yet but I want the challenge of marking the best. I want to mark Eddie, I know he’s something special.”
This trip has been a homecoming of sorts for Powter whose father David hails from rural New South Wales. On Thursday, he linked up with relatives on his father’s side of the family who have driven 12 hours from the small NSW town of Parkes to see him play on Sunday.
“When I was younger I went a lot but I haven’t been in about 10 years. So I got to see my grandparents and my auntie yesterday for the first time in 10 years. It was unbelievable. I’m going to see them again after this.”
After winning a Cork U21 title last Saturday night with Douglas, Powter made the journey to Dublin before embarking on the trip to Australia the following morning. He wasn’t complaining, certainly not after initially being put on the stand-by list. “I was very disappointed, yeah. You’re training for four or five weeks and then you get told ‘sorry, you’re on the standby list, but keep training’, which I did. Paul Kerrigan pulled out, unfortunately for him but fortunately for me, and I got in.”
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