Tipperary football has received a massive boost with the news that four key players - including former All-Star forward Michael Quinlivan - will return to the squad when they resume collective training next month.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused havoc and trauma in Irish life and society but sporting organisations are now edging ever closer to a return.

And a delayed GAA season is set to entice a number of inter-county players, who had planned to travel throughout 2020, back into their respective folds.

RTÉ Sport has learned that Tipperary football will certainly see the benefit of that.

Aside from Quinlivan, three other young players, including two under-21 All-Ireland hurling winners, have also confirmed their availability for the forthcoming League finale and Championship series.

They include former Sigerson Cup winner, Liam Casey, Tipp's 2018 victorious under-21 hurling captain, Colin English and another dual player and All-Ireland under-21 hurling winner, Paudie Feehan.

Centre-forward, Liam McGrath, cousin of county senior hurlers Noel, John and Brian, will not be back from his travels in Australia this season, however. 

Much of the attention will centre on Quinlivan's return but the addition of all four names will give Tipp's senior football manager, David Power, plenty of options for the months ahead.

Last winter Quinlivan made public his decision to press pause on his inter-county career and go travelling, something he had been thinking about for quite some time.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions his time abroad was cut short and he returned to the country some months ago. In that time, he has been in frequent contact with Tipp manager, Power, and has made the call to come back to play with his county when training officially resumes.

Tipp boss David Power

The pair have a very good relationship with Quinlivan an influential figure on the Tipp minor team managed by Power which shocked Dublin in the 2011 All-Ireland football final.

Five years later the Clonmel Commercials man pushed onto to win an All Star in 2016.

Now 27, his return is a massive lift to the Tipp team who leaned heavily on team captain, Conor Sweeney, for scores, in Quinlivan's absence.

There is further good news for Power with powerful midfielder Liam Casey also coming back into the fold after he cut short his travelling plans too.

Former minor and under-21 player Casey was part of the University College Dublin side that defeated National University of Ireland, Galway 1-13 to 2-09 in February in the 2018 Sigerson Cup final.

Indeed, the Cahir man fisted the winning point for UCD in the 62nd minute, just a few minutes after kicking the levelling score.

He was later named on the 2018 Sigerson Cup team of the year at midfield.

Another star of 2018 Tipp's under-21 hurling captain, Colin English, will be another to join the county's senior football panel.

English featured for Tipperary at half-forward on the minor football side well beaten by Kerry in the 2015 All-Ireland final before coming to prominence on the hurling scene and leading the Premier County to under-21 honours two years ago.

Another dual player, Paudie Feehan, is the fourth name who will come on board with Power's squad.

Feehan, brother of Tipperary half-back, Jimmy, has been rated one of the most promising young footballers in the county in recent years, but he, too, featured on Tipp's 2018 under-21 winning hurling side and made his senior inter-county debut in the 2019 Allianz Hurling League Round 2 clash with Waterford.

Feehan also excelled as a rugby player at schools' level too, helping Rockwell College to a Munster Schools Senior Cup in 2015.

With two rounds of the 2020 Allianz League still to play, Tipp may need at least one win to secure their place in Division 3.

They are due to play Clare in the Munster quarter-final.