Passionate Power driving Tipperary football forward
By Cian O'Connell
"Tipp is a big enough county, if Tipp were to win this Munster final, there’d be a huge knock-on effect," David Power says about Sunday's intriguing Pairc Ui Chaoimh provincial decider against Cork.
Power has no issue with the fact that hurling will always be sky high on the agenda in the blue and gold county, but top inter-county teams can be sustained in both codes.
"I think it would get young people wanting to play football for Tipperary, that all of a sudden football would be an option because ultimately there can only be 30/35 players on a senior hurling panel at any one time," Power adds.
"So there’s a huge amount of other players out there and space there to make the Tipp senior football team and that’s what would drive it."
Ultimately, Power, who has guided Tipperary to underage glory, stresses the value and weight attaining silverware has.
"It’s a knock-on effect that you’d have primary schools wanting to play football, post-primary schools wanting to play football and the fact that everyone is going to be watching it on TV as well," Power continues.
"I think it’d be a huge statement for Tipperary in general that we could push on because over the last couple of years we have been weak at under-20 and at minor and I think that would give that kick on, that players would see, ‘God, look, Tipp senior football can compete at the very highest level as well’ because by nature Tipperary, we’re high achievers.
"We’ve a lot of good sportsmen, whether they’re soccer players, horse racing, whatever, we are high achievers and they want to be with the best and I think winning this Munster final would really drive it on.”
It has been a curious year in so many different ways, but Power is delighted that Tipperary have generated momentum since returning to competitive action in October.
“It’s been a super month for us," Power admits. "I always said that despite some people thinking the Offaly game didn’t mean much, for me it meant everything to me because I felt if we didn’t get a result against Offaly I wouldn’t be here talking to you.
"The Offaly game gave us a platform to build some momentum and that is what we have achieved. We beat Offaly, then went up to Leitrim who were really waiting for us for a number of weeks and we got a result. To be fair, look at the performance Leitrim gave against Mayo and they only pulled away in the last 10 minutes.
“Then we played Clare who are in Division Two for the last four years. In each game we have improved in areas. The Limerick game was disappointing, but I hand a lot of credit to Limerick as they had their homework done on us and Billy Lee has done a great job.
“Now I would say there is a bigger performance in us than there was against Limerick.
“Our best game, even though we lost pre-Covid, was against Cork in the League and I thought we were very good that night."
Sunday will also mark a poignant moment in the GAA's proud history with it being the 100 year anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
"We just have to get the balance right," Power states. "You can get too emotional about it as well.
“After the Limerick game I got a phone call asking us if we would like to wear the green and white jersey.
"Again, we tapped into the leadership group and the two words that came back were it would be an 'honour' and a 'privilege' to wear that jersey.
“It’s brilliant to see that we are respecting the 100 year anniversary and will tap into a bit of it, but we won’t go overboard as ultimately it is about the Munster Final and it is about us performing and that’s what it is about, we have to get a performance that hopefully can beat Cork and that is what we are striving for."
Throughout his life Power has been a passionate student of Gaelic Games.
“I have been going to Croke Park to All Ireland Football finals with my father since 1990, bar one," Power comments. "I knew the meaning and the importance of the Hogan Stand.
“I live in Kilsheelan and we are one of the neighbour parishes to Grangemockler so I would have known a lot about Michael Hogan and how good Tipperary football was back then.
"They played with a good style back then, and but for the Civil War they would have won a lot more because they had a very good team."
A century later Tipperary football is relevant again with Power occupying a central role.