GAA Football

Tipperary have eyes firmly fixed on All-Ireland semi-final spot

 Tipperary celebrate on the final whistle after beating Derry during the All Ireland Round Four Qualifier last weekend
Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

TIPPERARY boss Liam Kearns insists his players have the ambition to overcome Galway un Sunday and reach this year’s All-Ireland semi-finals.

The Premier County’s footballers made history last Saturday by qualifying for their first-ever All-Ireland quarter-final following their dramatic Round Four win over Derry.

But Kearns believes that Galway shouldn’t necessarily signal the end of the road for the beaten Munster finalists.

“We have Galway and they’ve been very impressive but my guys won’t be afraid of Croke Park,” said Kerry native Kearns.

“There’s loads of pace in our team; and Croke Park is a pace pitch. Look, Galway will be favourites – we’ve been underdogs in every game but we’ll go and give a good account of ourselves. We’ve been positive in every game, we’ve gone at teams in every game, we’re getting big scores.

“These boys are very ambitious. They wanted to beat Kerry in a Munster final when everyone else was saying we’d done well to get there… They were disappointed with their performances in that game, they felt they were uptight against Kerry and they didn’t perform.”

Kearns said that last weekend’s one-point win over Derry ranks as one of the best victories he’s had in his managerial career.

“I’ve been lucky. I’ve been with underdogs throughout my career – at colleges level, club level and inter-county level. I was at Limerick and they gave me fantastic days as well.

“But, with all due respect, Kerry and Dublin have everything at their finger tips, you’ve got massive support, massive amount of players to choose from and all of that.

“Going into Tipperary where it’s a hurling county and going to Limerick where it’s a hurling county and you see those players come out to perform against a traditional football county in Derry, the satisfaction you get from that is huge and we were entitled to celebrate that.

“The bigger the challenge these boys just seem to like it.”

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