Well done Tipperary, but next year will be harder
Liam Kearns made a rallying call to the Tipperary footballers after their great adventure ended on Sunday: "This is where you need to be, this is where you've got to come back to."
He's right but Kearns knows well from experience that despite the impressive advance, next season will bring even bigger tests. He steered Limerick to the 2004 Division 1 semi-final, and to a Munster final replay (they were unlucky not to win the first game) where they lost to Kerry. Hopes soared for 2005 but they fell short as Limerick were relegated and lost a Round 3 qualifier.
Three years later, Wexford reached the 2008 semi-final, where they did quite well against Tyrone, who went on to win the All-Ireland.
Optimism ran high in Wexford for 2009 but it turned into a dismal season as they won only one of 11 League and SFC games.
Pointing that out is meant in no way to dampen Tipp spirits but merely to point out that the progress made this summer has to be seen as a mere starting point for even harder work if they are to maintain an upward graph.