Upbeat Powter fancies Cork's chances of pulling off a shock in Killarney

Kerry are overwhelming favourites to land another Munster title, but the Douglas ace reckons Cork have what it takes to confound the critics
Upbeat Powter fancies Cork's chances of pulling off a shock in Killarney

Sean Powter setting up another attack for Cork during last season's Munster semi-final win over Kerry at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

YOU’D have some job convincing Sean Powter that the bookies’ odds of 1/12 Kerry in Sunday’s Munster football final in Killarney at 4pm represent the apparent gulf between the counties.

It reflects the popular view that this star-studded Kerry attack will atone for last season’s semi-final defeat and set the county on a major collision course with All-Ireland champions Dublin.

But, the all-action Powter, who will be 24 tomorrow week, takes a polar opposite view as the first-year post-grad UL medical student, with three more to come, opined.

“I fully believe we’re going to beat them because we’ve beaten them all the way up at U21 and last year, too,” he said with much conviction.

“I think we’ve really bonded since the loss to Tipperary and those games against Clare in the league and the Limerick match, we would have lost those two or three years ago.

“And it wouldn’t be like another ambush if we won again. The Tipperary ambush is playing on our minds, too, because we have a Munster final to rectify. That’s been gnawing at us since November.” 

Powter is expected to be part of the same youthful defence, when the team is announced later today, containing Sean Meehan and Daniel O’Mahony.

“I think the younger players have not what you’d call an arrogance but a great self-belief after winning the All-Ireland U20 title in 2019.

“And that has made its way to the older players in what I believe is a fine combination of youth and experience.

“There is a genuine belief that we’re going to go to Killarney and win a Munster final.” 

Powter’s versatility always prompts a discussion about his best position given that he’s well capable of scoring, too.

“I’d say wing-back, but I’m just happy to be on the pitch rather than watching from the stand.

“On one level it helps management that I’d be considered a scoring back, but it can also be a hindrance because I don’t know where I’m playing until the Thursday night before a match.” 

As per the norm, positions will mean very little as teams organise their match-ups hoping to strike the right chord in the process.

“Last year I was sweeping after they got a black card and we’ll see how Sunday pans out.

“Cian O’Neill wants us to play the game as we see it and if something is working we’ll continue to do it.

“He’s been open to that since coming on board and if we see something on the pitch he’ll allow us do it.” 

Sean Powter getting away from Danny Neville of Limerick during Cork's semi-final victory at the Gaelic Grounds. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie
Sean Powter getting away from Danny Neville of Limerick during Cork's semi-final victory at the Gaelic Grounds. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Either way, the Douglas defender won’t get bogged down in his own marking role.

“I wouldn’t really do too much homework. For example, I’ve played with Sean O’Shea at UCC so I know his game.

“But, I focus on myself, visualising the play, tackling him and sending him up the other end of the pitch. I wouldn’t spend hours and hours watching him scoring points.

“Killian Spillane, Tom O’Sullivan and Brian Begley would be others I’ve played with.

That’s another reason why I believe we can beat them because there’s no difference between what we have and the fellows down in Killarney or Tralee.

“I think there will be a lot more football and kick-passing. It will be a different test for our defence but I feel we will be up for them.” 

Powter studied Neuroscience in UCC before changing direction and heading Shannonside.

"It’s a common path to medicine. I’m more than likely going to go into sports medicine, probably focusing on hamstrings. I know a lot about them,” he said laughing.

“I’ve been to doctors in England and Australia and I feel confident to go down that route.

“College for me was in-person on campus and Ronan was great because I only come down on Tuesdays and I did my own sessions on Thursdays.” 

Powter didn’t see out the Limerick semi-final after suffering a dead leg, which still didn’t prevent him kicking a couple of important points approaching the interval.

“I’ll take any injury in the front of the body, but when it’s anywhere else I’m thinking ‘is it the hamstring’?

“There’s nothing to compare with the buzz of playing championship football?"

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