BY GERARD BROWNE
John McIntyre expects Tipperary to still be looking towards their older guard come championship time.
The Premier County have one of the most experienced panels around, with five players who were part of the victorious 2010 team and numerous others who also tasted success six years later.
However, there is no shortage of talents coming through, having won All-Ireland Under-21 and Under-20 honours in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
While McIntyre expects his native county to gain some newcomers from this league journey, he firmly believes there is more to come from their seasoned campaigners.
“Tipperary are gradually sorting their best team, but the jury is out as they’re trying out new players,” he states on The Premier View.
“Regardless of what happens in this league, they will be contenders for the Liam McCarthy Cup, because they’re a battle-hardened group with exciting prospects coming through.
“Sheedy will want to blood a few players, as fresh legs are always required, but I still think they will be reliant on the core of the players around since 2010.”
After drawing their opening two Division 1A games, Liam Sheedy’s men welcome in-form Galway to Semple Stadium tomorrow.
They found themselves four points ahead down the home stretch against Limerick and failed to see the game out, but came from behind to earn a share of the spoils with Cork last weekend.
The Lorrha-Dorrha man feels it is unfair to read too much into those outings.
“Tipp will have mixed emotions, as they should’ve seen it out versus Limerick and for long stages against Cork, it looked like they would lose,” claims McIntyre.
“It was a bit worrying to concede a couple of goals, and they are a bit understaffed at the other end of the pitch.
“People have to remember it was only their second game since last November, and the players aren’t miracle workers.”
After a brief appearance in Galway’s midfield last Sunday, Joe Canning has been named to start in the same position for tomorrow’s clash.
McIntyre is very familiar with the Portumna ace, having served as The Tribesmen boss from 2009-2011 and he is confident the move will suit Canning.
“Joe hasn’t got the same mobility he once had and when you’re slowing down, the last thing you want is to be surrounded by traffic,” the Connacht Tribune editor adds.
“In that midfield area, he can drift into space and if left unmarked 60 or 80 metres from goal, he’s still a massive threat to the opposition.
“Galway have hit the ground so fast that you wonder will they still be able to maintain pace in seven or eight weeks,” he concludes on The Premier ‘View’.