Tipperary boss Peter Creedon sees hope for the future following Tipperary’s battling display against Galway at Salthill in the All Ireland SFC qualifiers.
Younger players coming through are making their mark - and only one poor quarter cost them qualifier victory.
Creedon said -“We should have won the match. Had we taken our scores in the second half we would have won and considering the injuries and the number of senior players we were without, the guys played fantastically. It was just unfortunate that the ten minute spell at the start of the second half cost us – there was only one team in it in the last quarter and that was us.
“I think some of younger players ran out of legs in the middle third of the field at that stage, but we settled the ship and got going again.
“We dipped in the middle third but finished strongly. We have great character in the squad. We went toe to toe with Galway and could have won the game. I am very proud of the lads and their effort,” he said.
Tipperary started minus some very prominent, household names, but both Peter and pocket rocket wing back Brian Fox, feel that the way forward now has been charted - Ballina’s Stephen O’Brien made his debut at midfield only a week after his Leaving Cert.
“The younger lads are sensational footballers – Ian Fahey, Stephen O’Brien, Philip Quirke – all minors last year with Munster and All-Ireland medals. We have to get these guys playing and improving. Get them kicking on next year to the level of intensity required to play senior inter county, but it does take two or three years and we have to be patient,” Brian Fox said.
“Results would suggest we made no progress this season but I think it’s clear to see that we have made massive progress and there is a real ambition in the squad. We need to kick on now and I am confident that we will hold our players and continue to make progress in 2014. Hurling is our biggest opposition and we need to keep our players playing football,” he said.