As It’s Round 2 of the Senior and Intermediate Tipperary Football Championship this coming Weekend, Premierview’s foremost Wordsmith,Big John casts his considered eye over 16 young men to watch out for.
We have profiled the first 8 Young Footballers this week with the next 8 to be showcased next week.
1.Eanna McBride (JK Brackens)
Older folk will tell you that an ounce of breeding is better than a ton of feeding. That’s certainly the case with JKB star Eanna McBride, as his father and grandfather are considered amongst the best ever to tog for the Templemore based club.
Although he seems to have been around since Adam was in the boyscouts, Eanna is still only 21 and if JKB are progress to the latter stages of the championship, McBride will have to be at his brilliant best. Expect to see him in the blue and gold of the senior footballers over the next few years.
2.Ciaran McCormack (Loughmore/Castleiney)
Loughmore/Castleiney seem to find one decent player every year and the rising star award for 2021 may well fall to Ciaran “Rucker” McCormack this year. Already making great strides for Loughmore in the hurling championship, Rucker’s strength is his strength and his addition to the Mid club’s team will certainly augment their multi talented line up!
3.Emmet Butler (Kilsheelan/Kilcash)
Emmet is not long out of swaddling clothes and he steps into adult football for the first time this year. A half back by trade, although it must be said he interprets that role liberally, Emmet lined out at wing back for Tipperary in the Munster U20 Football Final this year.
He is also likely to start in the half back line for Kilsheelan/Kilcash and while he might not be on many radars at the moment, if the South men were to go deep into the championship he may well be a pub hold name by the end of the year!
4.Darragh Brennan Ballyporeen
Ballyporeen have being crying out for a free scoring forward to take the pressure of All Star, Conor Sweeney. They may well have found it in Darragh Brennan. The pocket battleship was a minor hurling panelist in 2019 but is equally comfortable with the big ball in his hand
Darragh possess frightening speed and his angled runs make the flight path of a hummingbird look utterly predictable!
5.Gearoid O’Connor Moyne/Templetuohy
U20 All Ireland Hurling winner in 2019, the Templetuohy native will prove a handful for anyone around the midfield area. Like the bread man in Brussels he is 6ft 4” and full of muscles. But there is far more to Gearoid than just winning ball in the air and at almost every Moyne/Templetuohy game you’ll hear someone utter the words “hasn’t he great skill for a big man?”
Very strong going forward he was a pivotal figure in Moyne’s first round victory over Eire Og, Gearoid is a player we will hear a lot more about over the next few years.
6.Kevin Grogan Cahir
A word of warning to any team playing Cahir this year! Don’t give away a free within 70 yards of your goal as there is a very strong possibility that Kevin Grogan will remind you that crime doesn’t pay by slotting over the free.
Coming off the back of a fine u20 campaign with Tipperary, Kevin is just one of a number of fine young players in the Cahir set up. He will prove a handful for any team and if Cahir progress in the championship there is a strong possibility that Kevin will be to the fore in the scoring charts.
7.Cormac Maher Arravale Rovers
Cormac was one of the stars on the Arravale side that reached the delayed 2020 U21 final earlier this year. Although well beaten on the day, Cormac kicked 7 of the Tipperary Town side’s 8 points on the day.
An old fashioned corner forward, he possesses all the skills and is one of those players that always looks like he knows what he is doing when in possession of the synthetic leather and that’s a wonderful ability to have.
8.Cathal Deeley (Clonmel Commercials)
Another potential star fresh off the Clonmel Commercials conveyor belt, Cathal had an outstanding U20 campaign with Tipperary this year and the good news for Tipp is he is underage again next year.
He played midfield in that u20 Tipp team but I would expect to see him in the half forward line for the county champions this year and where he will link up with the likes of the Kennedy brothers, Seamus Kennedy and Michael Quinlivan. We’d nearly look good ourselves in that line up so you can only imagine what a player of Cathal’s ability will look like!
Read Big Johns Senior and Intermediate Tipperary Championship Predictions