‘These are the big games you want to play in’, says Tipp captain Barry Grogan

Eamonn Lacey

Eamonn Lacey

Tipperary will need leading marksman and captain Barry Grogan to make a huge impact in Killarney on Sunday if they are to have any chance of competing with Kerry in the Munster senior football quarter final clash.

The Aherlow man is in tremendous form having put in a very solid performance in the league which played an influential role in ensuring Tipperary retained Division 3 status.

The captain believes that holding onto Division Three status was a boost to all involved and he could not imagine how devastating a blow it would have been to have to go to Kerry as a Division Four team.

For the Tipp marksman getting Kerry again in the championship draw did not come as a setback, for him playing the best team is always a big occasion and it is where Tipperary should be aiming to be.

“As a player these are the games you want to play in, the games you put in so much work for,” he said.

He believes Tipp “gave it handy” to Kerry in the last fifteen minutes of their championship clash last year and he is hoping that Tipp will be able to go the full seventy minutes with them this time.

“Oc course going down there is going to make a big difference, but even still personally I would be hoping that we will do better than last year. We gave a good account of ourselves for a long part of the match last year but we want to be competitive to the final whistle on Sunday,” said the Aherlow man.

Looking back on the league, Barry said there were a number of good performances to reflect on such as the defeat of Wexford who were top of the table at the time and going away to Offaly and beating them.

“Our league form was very up and down, we had some very good days and on other days we did play as well as we could have so hopefully, Sunday will be one of our good days,” he said.

“We can beat good teams on our day and we know on Sunday that we will have to be at the very peak of our form and hope a lot goes right for us because we are up against a very serious outfit,” he said.

The team has had two recent challenge matches, against Wexford and Kildare, in preparation for Sunday and Barry believes the two games gave them a measure of where they stand.

“We know the league is totally different and we are playing these challenge matches in preparation for a championship match which will be at a much greater intensity. The first ten minutes of a championship match are unbelievable because of the pace of it. Everything just goes so fast you would not know where you are, after that fitness kicks in and after that it depends on the work you have put in leading up to the match,” he said.

Barry, who was the choice of management for captain, said he was very proud to be leading his county out against Kerry in the championship.

“I will be very proud to lead out Tipp and it’s an honour for my family and club for me to get the captaincy,” he said.