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No resolution in sight yet

“IT is not a life and death issue,” according to Clare senior hurling manager Mike McNamara.
“There are no fatalities at the end of this. It is sport, you get on with it and you get on with what is best for Clare. Votes are irrelevant if you are going forward in a positive manner.”
Speaking with media representatives at the West County Hotel following Clare County Board meeting on Tuesday night, McNamara added, “The decision of tonight’s meeting was to try and resolve any issues and get on with what we do best”.
There was speculation throughout the day as to what the Scariff man might say to those gathered at the meeting, given that players had voted no confidence in his management by 26 votes to 1.
“There were many occasions in the past 20 or so odd years that I have been with Clare that my services weren’t required and I went home and I smoked a cigar. If the time came when I was wanted, I was always there, so it’s not a life or death issue,” he stated.
Asked if he was disappointed that attempts to resolve the issue had so far failed, he replied, “We really weren’t trying to resolve issues in the past few days, I must admit. It was something that was a little farther down the road. Sometimes it’s better to maybe mull over a few things before you jump in. When you jump in, you do so at the deep end and work your way out of there, if possible”.
He said he was not aware if players had said what the actual problem is but added, “We are arranging a meeting, so I expect it will happen now”.
“There are always issues with players. Playing is about winning and if you are winning, there are no issues and if you are not, there are issues.”
He added that with the year Clare had, there would have to be issues. “Results are more important now than the actual displays. Some of our displays were quite good. Some were maybe heartbreaking in the sense we had played very well on occasions. Our Munster championship tilt with Tipperary on which we had placed all our hopes as do every year, was in the balance with time up. There are a lot of positives. The mood of the delegates now is that the players, the management, themselves and the county board get together and resolve the issue, if that’s possible. If we resolve the issue, we go forward and if we don’t resolve the issue, we won’t be talking or dragging things out next March, I can assure you,” he said.
He added that he has no animosity towards players. “We have had our chill-out now. We have just taken a step, maybe it’s a giant step, but we have taken a step and rather than run off in different directions, we must try and go in the one direction, particularly in view of the talent and the beacon of light that is coming through with the successful U-21 team.”
Board chairman Michael O’Neill stated that the situation is not “anti Mike Mac or anti player”.
“There are no agendas with him. We have to sit down in the coming days and if there are issues, we have to solve them. That is where we are going. There was tremendous positivity from the meeting and Mike will agree.”
On the question of having media representatives leave before he addressed delegate, McNamra stated, “I have stated quite categorically that this is an internal issue and will be dealt with internally. I have no issues dealing with the press. I requested a private meeting as I wanted to talk to delegates. I have no issue talking to journalists and never will. I never want to be in the limelight but it is part and parcel of the job”.
Was he disappointed with the players’ reaction? “If you win, everything is rosy in the garden and if you don’t, there are problems and unrest; sport is about winning. While every team can’t win, there is an onus on management to present winning teams on every given day. That can only be done with a panel of players. In our case, we had 10 of the 21-year-olds training with us most of the year with a view of going forward. We saw, as a management team, that we have to go to youth,” he replied.
“I have told you all on many occasions during the year that there is pain involved. I said last January that we had a bright future but there was pain along the way. You cannot put a bunch of young players into a senior county team and expect them to perform well. You may destroy them – you must introduce them to a team where there are natural leaders and then take it from there.”
Asked if he had made up his mind coming to the meeting if he was going to stay on or go, he replied that “the mood of the meeting decided tonight to try and resolve an issue and I am quite happy to go with the mood of the meeting”.

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