Dan McCormack poses for photos with Tipperary supporters
In association with Tipperary Water
When you go to war, you want to make sure that you have men around who are prepared to do mens work.
That's where Borris-Ileigh's Dan McCormack comes into his own for Tipperary and nobody knows it more than the forward division which benefits directly from his toil on the field of play.
Dan won't be the one keeping the umpires busy on Sunday afternoon next in Croke Park and he won't be the one whose flicks and silken skills will feature on the Sunday Game after the match is over.
But, he will be the one who creates so much for his colleagues and whose workrate levels will be amongst the highest in the team - that's why Liam Sheedy so values him and why he is so crucial to the overall fluency of the team.
No player can hurl without the ball and since there is only one ball on the field of play, the person who has it dictates the run of the game. So, Dan McCormack has made it his goal to win the ball back for Tipperary whenever he can - in a game where turnovers are now almost as important as white flags, the player who can consistently win dirty ball is as valuable as the one who can turn the ball into the net with a flick of the wrists.
Tipperary perform in a different way and at a different level when Dan is in the side. He has had his troubles with injury throughout his career - an indication of his willingess to get in there where it hurts - but when he is fit, flying and ready for work, there is no more crucial player to Liam Sheedy's gameplan, and no one more willing to do a job for the team, than Dan McCormack.
Tipperary hurlers play with intelligence and it is an indication of the regard in which Dan is held, that when he gets in there amongst the rucks, you will see others moving to the periphery awaiting the break - Dan usually emerges with sliothar in hand having won a ball he was never supposed to, and proceeds to pass off to a man in a better position, and more equipped to split the posts, or set up a telling attack.
The importance of Dan McCormack to the Tipperary team cannot be overstated and an indication of his popularity amongst supporters was very evident at the open training evening in Semple Stadium after the great win over Wexford. Tipp people know their hurling and appreciate the magnificent role Dan McCormack plays in the team - perhaps that is why he was absolutely swamped by supporters looking for his autograph.
Dan McCormack is a bona fide Tipperary hero.