Saturday 16 December 2017

Where are they now?


(Former Tipperary footballer)

TWO-time All Star Declan Browne has been revisiting his past with the current Seanie Johnston story. Star forward with a weak county, check. Linked with move to stronger county, check.

"As far as I'm concerned," says Browne, "it was only hearsay. I was never formally approached to move to another county. But, yes, it was the same county that's in the news again."

Browne, who is still playing football with Moyle Rovers, was no mean hurler in his day, but he chose football as his number one, unlike many of his contemporaries. "In Tipperary, football is a second-class citizen," he explains, "because Tipp are contenders every year in hurling and always struggling in football. It's based on success. We made strides at times and then went back in our shell again. We couldn't win anything to promote football but it wasn't for lack of trying.

"A lot of dual players opted for hurling -- Brendan Cummins, Paul Ormonde, John Carroll and, of the present team, Paul Curran. They have played football for Tipp, but have to concentrate on one and hurling always wins out."

However, Browne doesn't believe it has to be that way. "I believe if both managers worked together there's no reason why players can't play both codes. That's a view not widely held, and it means someone giving leeway and making it happen."

A winner of a Munster minor medal in 1995, Browne sees a bright future for Tipp football following the minors' All-Ireland success, and noted: "That team included seven dual players, who had opted for football. That's a sign of the times."

Of his 1995 team, only two or three played senior with the county, so minor success carries no guarantees. Browne's successes at senior level peaked at the Tommy Murphy and McGrath Cups.

With two girls, Aoife (3) and Róisín (11 weeks), he attends Tipp's home games but won't be going to Kiltoom for today's League Division Three opener against Roscommon.

"To have any chance of promotion, Tipp need to win," is his view. "It helps to take the pressure off down the line."

Browne, who left college in Waterford with a degree in Business Studies, has been working for Clonmel Oil since he graduated.

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