Eugene McGee praises the approach of "flamboyant" Tipperary

The Irish Independent columnist says that they are revitalising a stale football championship with their "traditional" approach


Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Tipperary qualified for their first All-Ireland semi-final since 1935 yesterday after they stunned Galway at Croke Park.

Liam Kearns' side ran out nine-point winners yesterday afternoon and will now face either Mayo or Tyrone for a place in the All-Ireland final.

Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show, Irish Independent columnist Eugene McGee praised the approach the Munster finalists have taken to get them where they are today and acknowledged the work put into football over the past five years in a predominantly hurling county.

"What Tipperary are doing is completely opposite," he said. "They are more sticking to the tradition of Gaelic football where you move quickly with the foot and people will take scores from 30 or 40 yards... What they've got is a flamboyant, devil-may-care bunch of men, all between 20 to 25. 

"Their manager, Liam Kearns, is obviously playing along with that. He's not enforcing the stereotypes that we have from all the top counties at the moment which is frankly boring people. That's why we only had 29,000 people yesterday, when it should be 40 or 50,000.

"They gradually improved and there was a clear distinction about how Tipperary play and how all the other top teams play. How the other top teams play at the moment is dominated by tactics, this thing called 'mass defence' where all the players when they're defending go into their own half of the field. There could be as many as 12 or 13 players going into their own half and it makes it very difficult for the opposing team to score.

"That's what's been happening the last couple of years after Donegal started that with Jim McGuinness and won the All-Ireland with that.

"[Tipperary have] mainly done it by doing an intensive training course - coaching in football that would have been done in hurling too. They gradually improved and to win an All-Ireland minor football Championship for Tipperary is unheard of and to beat Dublin - and Dublin also waiting to compete in the senior match - it was absolutely extraordinary."