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RTE awards for Davy and Clare team

SINCE their memorable All-Ireland victory in September, members of the Clare senior hurling team and their management have received many awards. That list was extended on Saturday night when the RTE manager of the year and team of the year accolades were presented to Clare. At a function attended by many of the country’s leading sports personalities from the world of sport, the first award presented was the manager of the year trophy, which went to Davy Fitzgerald, who led Clare to win the Liam MacCarthy Cup in September. Davy was presented with his award by RTE head of sports, Ryle Nugent. A panel of sports writers and commentators choose Davy from a shortlist that included Dublin football manager, Jim Gavin; Tony Ward, the Galway camogie boss and Eamonn Ryan, the Cork ladies football manager. The team of the year was decided by public vote and the Clare hurlers were the popular winners. Team captain Pat Donnellan accepted the award from …

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Munster club GAA draws

By Seamus Hayes The 2014 Clare senior hurling championship will have to be completed by the third weekend in October at the latest as the winners will be in action in the provincial championship quarter-final on October 26. The county football champions won’t see provincial action until the middle of November as, for the second year in-a- row, Clare have received a bye to the semi-final. The draws for the provincial club championships (senior, intermediate and junior) were made at a meeting of the provincial council on Thursday night when the Waterford and Clare hurling champions were drawn to meet in a quarter- final on October 26. The Waterford representatives will have home advantage for that fixture, the winners of which will face the Tipperary winners in a semi-final tie on November 9. The final will take place on November 23. In intermediate hurling, the Clare champions have a bye into the provincial semi-final where they will play either Tipperary …

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Almost €914,000 spent on county teams

IN a year in which the county won two All-Ireland hurling titles, Clare still managed to record a profit of €59,289, according to the financial report that will be presented to delegates at next week’s annual convention, which takes place on Thursday, December 19. Income for the year amounted to €1,796,854, with expenditure coming to €1,737,565. Team expenses for the year amounted to €913,919 (€671,570 in 2012). This is an accumulative figure for all county teams and a breakdown for each team is not given. A breakdown of this figure shows that players’ travel expenses amounted to €324,365 (€267,842 in 2012); catering cost €199,541 (143,656 in 2012); medical physiotherapy and masseurs cost €99,835 (€86,353 last year); buses and overnights cost €61,001 (€53,255 in ’12); sportsgear, equipment and laundry cost €78,468 (€79,531 in ’12), while training facilities cost €23,197 (€20,856 last year). The team expenses figure includes provision for €100,000 for the senior hurlers’ holiday. There was a slight increase in …

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Invest in Caherlohan or Cusack Park?

CLARE GAA county secretary, Pat Fitzgerald favours completing the Caherlohan project, near Tulla, ahead of improvements at Cusack Park. In his report, which will be presented to the annual convention on Thurrsday night next, he says, “Personally speaking, I think we have to prioritise Caherlohan ahead of Cusack Park. That’s my opinion but ultimately it is you the clubs of Clare who will be the final arbitrators. He acknowledges the board will have to invest further in upgrading Cusack Park, particularly the playing surface. “After any prolonged period of rain, the surface badly deteriorates and this year, not for the first time, games had to be moved to alternative venues in order to avoid the embarrassment of the county grounds not being able to host games. This year’s county hurling final was played in a continuous downpour and on a pitch that cut up badly. So bad were conditions that Sixmilebridge supporters were banned from getting onto Cusack Park to …

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David Fitzgerald, Clare manager celebrates with Saoirse Bulfin following the All-Ireland senior hurling final replay against Cork at Croke Park. Photograph by John Kelly.

Davy’s appointment based on coaching pedigree

  IN a detailed report to next week’s Clare GAA convention, Clare secretary Pat Fitzgerald had nailed on the head the notion that nepotism came into play when his son Davy was appointed as Clare manager in 2011, writes Seamus Hayes. “I have to admit I was taken aback by the degree of cynicism to the appointment of Davy to the Clare job initially. Opinion was clearly divided and he had to work hard to win the cynics over”, Fitzgerald says in his report which is being circulated to clubs this weekend. “I came in for a share of criticism myself, being accused of nepotism, matching the cronyism that has dogged the Irish political system over the years. But such an assertion couldn’t have been further from the truth. Davy’s appointment was based on his coaching pedigree not on family loyalties. I was subjected to a lot of stick, but I stuck to my guns and I think as events …

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Referees honour Dunne and Sutton

TWO of Clare’s best known soccer referees have been honoured by their peers for their contribution to the game. Paddy Dunne, a founder member of the Clare Soccer Referees Association and now its president, was honoured for his contribution to the branch since its formation in 1971, while Padraic Sutton, one of the branch’s younger members, was honoured for his achievement in achieving FIFA qualification. For Paddy Dunne, it was a nostalgic and emotional occasion on Monday night, as he was joined by some of his fellow referees from the early 1970s at the West County Hotel. Clare Referees chairman Frankie Coote paid tribute to both men and said he was particularly delighted with the attendance. “Both presentations are merited. Paddy Dunne has been a member of this branch since it was formed. If we are the branch then Paddy Dunne is definitely the root, as he was part of it since the start. He has kept us together. To …

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Howard quits at Kerry hurling boss

CLARECASTLE’S Tommy Howard has stepped down from his post of manager of the Kerry senior hurlers citing a lack of commitment by some players as the reason for his sudden departure. Howard and his management team, which also included fellow Clarecastle man Fergie 0’Loughlin as trainer, issued a joint statement to a meeting of the Kerry County Board last week outlining the reasons behind their decision. Speaking on Radio Kerry, Howard said he and his management team felt the Kerry team had to “up their game for next year’s league and saw pre-season training as key to this.” “The management team met six weeks ago and tried to critically review the 2013 season and what we needed to do to improve on our performance in 2014. We met the county board and received a positive response from them on our plans. One of the critical areas we identified was to improve the general fitness of all the players. This would …

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Clare always in control

Clare League              2 Desmond League     0 IT was mission accomplished as Clare’s junior soccer squad secured a quarter-final place in the Oscar Traynor inter-league competition, accounting for Desmond League at the County Grounds on Saturday evening. The win sealed the team’s place at the top of the group, which puts them into the last eight of the competition. The victory could have been much greater margin had they converted all the chances created, a fact team manager Liam Murphy attributed to Clare being uncomfortable in the role of favourites. Desmond League, already out of contention, travelled to Doora with just 12 players and were forced to make a change shortly before half-time when John Kelleher was introduced in place of the injured Kieran Trander. The visitors almost took the lead in the very first attack of the game. After just 30 seconds, Clare goalkeeper John Mulready was rather casual in clearing his line and almost paid the price. Seconds later, …

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