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'Hopefully we can find a few more Colin O'Riordans and drive on from there'

Peter Acheson is wishing his former Tipperary teammate all the best as he pursues AFL dream.

Peter Acheson has been paying tribute to Colin O'Riordan.
Peter Acheson has been paying tribute to Colin O'Riordan.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

THE NEWS, WHEN it was confirmed, was a hammer blow for Tipperary football but a massive step forward in the burgeoning career of Colin O’Riordan.

A dual All-Ireland minor medallist, 2014 Allstar football nominee and EirGrid Munster U21 football winning captain this year, O’Riordan has penned a two-year rookie contract with the Sydney Swans. 

Tipperary teammate Peter Acheson wasn’t surprised that O’Riordan impressed at the AFL draft combine, having been left impressed by his dedication over the past two years at senior level with the Premier County.

Acheson, 25, accepts that O’Riordan is a “massive loss” to Tipperary, but insists that the team can cope with his absence.

“He’s a massive loss but you’d wish him the very best,” said Acheson.

“It’s unbelievable for a fella his age to have the chance to become a professional athlete.

Colin OÕRiordan Colin O'Riordan is leaving for pastures new. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I’ve known him for the last two years and it’s all he ever wanted.

“It’s a brilliant opportunity for him but there are still plenty of lads coming through from the U21 team and with the minors doing so well.

“Hopefully we can find a few more Colin O’Riordans and drive on from there.”

The future for Tipperary football, despite the loss of O’Riordan, remains bright.

The minors and U21s both contested All-Ireland finals this year and the senior team ran Kerry to six points in the Munster championship.

“The average age of the team is very young,” Acheson notes.

“I was the third oldest on the starting team in one of the games – Brian Fox wasn’t starting, either was Barry (Grogan).

Peter Acheson and Colin OÕRiordan Colin O'Riordan and Peter Acheson following the 2014 Munster SFC victory over Limerick. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“(Ciaran) McDonald and (Paddy) Codd were there but we had Steven O’Brien, Jason Lonergan, Mikey Quinlivan, Alan Campbell, all younger than me, and Conor Sweeney.”

Acheson is a key member of the Moyle Rovers team ahead of Sunday’s county SFC final against local rivals Clonmel Commercials.

Rovers are searching for their first county crown since 2009 against a Commercials outfit chasing a second title in four seasons.

Despite their status as two of the traditional superpowers in Tipperary club football, it will be the first time that Rovers and Commercials have met each other in a Premier County decider since 1999, when Rovers claimed bragging rights.

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