Tipperary minor football manager David Power would be the first to acknowledge that it is a player’s moment on All-Ireland day but managers have dreams as well.
Twenty eight year old Power has been immersed in Tipperary football and the love of the game since infancy and his dreams will also come true when he proudly takes his team to GAA headquarters on Sunday to take on Dublin on the biggest stage of all and the ultimate football showpiece, All-Ireland day.
“I have been at the All-Ireland football final every year since 1990 and I never thought the day would come that I would be manager of a team on that fantastic day,” said Power.
He was imbued with a deep passion for football from a very young age thanks to the lifelong association his father Michael has with the sport at county and regional level.
“My mother (Miriam) was under instructions from my father in 1984, when I was one year old, to bring me to the banquet if Tipperary had won that day and I have gone all over the country with my father since them to follow Tipperary football,” said David.
David, who works in his father’s accountancy practice in Bolton Street, Clonmel, has one brother Kevin. He took a year off taking his chartered accountancy exams this year to concentrate on his role as manager of the Tipperary team.
“I knew it was going to be a very busy year so I deferred the exams for one year,” he said.
Busy he has been and from very early on this year the manager referred to the very special opportunity that was there for Tipperary minor footballers.
Manager of the team for the third year, he believes that going into this All-Ireland final all the pressure will be on Dublin and that will suit Tipperary.
“Dublin are in four All-Irelands. They have lost the minor hurling and the U/21 hurling and they are in both football finals on Sunday. The pressure is going to be all on Dublin,” said the manager.
He is very happy that the bookies are giving Tipperary no chance on the day and that contributes to the mounting pressure on their opponents.
“All the pressure is going to be on Dublin. If we can stay focused and get in the work ethic that we have shown so far we have a serious chance of beating them. If you were to go by the bookies we may as well not turn up on the day and it suits us to go in as complete underdogs,” said David.
The manager has a full squad to select from going into the game with injury worries Ian Fahy (foot) and Stephen O’Brien (shoulder) coming through unscathed in recent run outs against the Dingle senior team.
He was impressed with the performance of the panel in that Dingle game, against a team that is in the quarter final of the senior championship in Kerry.
“The lads are going well. Sunday will be our sixth championship game and we need one last push, we need that extra 5% from everybody to have a good chance and hopefully we can get that out of the lads,” he said.
At the core of every performance has been the team’s workrate on the pitch according to the manager and that has to be maintained on Sunday.
“Their workrate in every game has been superb. Before every game we are very open about everything, it’s all discussed and these boys have backed it up out on the field where it counts,” he said.
He said the team had their best start of the year against Roscommon in the semi final in Croke Park. He was very happy with that and how the players handled that occasion which should stand to them on Sunday.
“Another good start is essential and the work ethic we bring to the game is going to have a major impact. The crowd obviously is going to be behind Dublin but that could add to the pressure they are going to be under,” he said.