Tipp take on students in McGrath Cup opener

Tipperary senior footballers will begin their quest for glory in 2011 next Sunday when they take on UL in a preliminary round of the McGrath Cup.

Tipperary senior footballers will begin their quest for glory in 2011 next Sunday when they take on UL in a preliminary round of the McGrath Cup.

The game will take place in Sean Treacy Park, Tipperary (2 or 2.30) on Sunday, January 9.

According to manager John Evans, now going into his fourth year at the helm, the McGrath Cup will be all out experimentation and preparation for the start of the National Football League in February.

The panel which has a fresh enthusiastic look about it as a result of an influx of players that enjoyed so much success at U/21 level last year, started training this week.

That age profile of the Tipp set-up presents Evans and his backroom team with a difficulty for the McGrath Cup as he will have to make do without a good number of them in that competition because the universities and the institutes get first call on the players.

"We have a very young panel and because of that we are losing a lot of players because the universities have first call on them. The same applies to the other counties so we will just have to get on with it," he said.

The manager said that the McGrath Cup normally is an ideal opportunity to give new players a chance to play for their county but it was not possible to do it this early in the year because the players had to line out for whatever third level college they were attending.