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Tag Archives: Colm Collins

Collins looking for Newry-like energy

ON February 25, 230 miles away from their home county, the Clare footballers had a choice. Either they folded, as they did against Meath in Navan three weeks beforehand, or they delved a bit deeper and forcibly quizzed Down on what they were made of. Minus the suspended Jamie Malone and Gordon Kelly, Clare wrought superb displays from a team that featured five starting players still in the first season of their senior inter-county careers. On Sunday at 2pm in Cusack Park, Clare will aim to replicate the attitude and decision-making evident in Newry. That day, they shot at goal 15 times, kicking 13 scores and managed not to miss Ciaran Russell, who was sent off on a yellow and black card. Since he was deployed as sweeper in the Tipperary game, Russell has solidified Clare and made them somewhat harder to break down. In their defeat to Meath in Navan, Clare were cut open regularly, as the home county …

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Club v county still an issue in Clare

IN 2017, it took 36 weeks to complete the seven-round Cusack Cup campaign. It started on March 11 and concluded on November 29, when Kilmurry-Ibrickane won the competition for the seventh successive season. While a semi-final date has not been fixed for this season’s Division 1 football league, the aim seems to be to finish the league before the first round of the Senior Football Championship. The last round is on May 27 or June 9 and, with only one semi-final to be played, Clare GAA might pull it off. The team that finishes top of the table automatically qualifies for the final, while second and third meet in a semi-final. One of the issues raised last year was the absence of county players for a round played mid-summer. This weekend, with Clare playing Roscommon in their refixed NFL game, club teams will line out without their county players. Clubs are not enamoured about this but it seems likely that …

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Clare to appeal proposed football bans

Suspensions have been proposed for two Clare footballers and team manager Colm Collins arising from the referee Jerome Henry’s report on Sunday’s national league game between Clare and Tipperary at Cusack Park. Clare will appeal the red card shown to Jamie Malone following his clash with Tipperary official Shane Stapleton, 11 minutes into the second half. While Stapleton was quickly back on his feet, he collapsed moments later and having received medical attention on the sideline, he was stretchered from the pitch and later removed to hospital, where he remained overnight. After the game, Tipperary manager Liam Kearns said Stapleton had hit his head off concrete when he fell. He stated he felt unwell and subsequently collapsed. Malone, who was attempting to retrieve the ball, which had gone over the sideline adjacant to where the Tipperary officials were positioned, was shown a straight red card. It is believed he was subsequently reported for a category four offence, which deals with …

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Clare footballers welcome Cavan

WHILE Clare used the McGrath Cup to give younger players a run, there is no ignoring the fact that they will start the 2018 league without several experienced defenders. Goalkeeper Joe Hayes has retired, while Liam Markham has opted out for work reasons. Dean Ryan is in Australia, while Kevin Harnett is recovering from a shoulder operation. Martin McMahon and John Hayes have yet to return to the panel and it is unclear as to whether they will. Liscannor’s Darren Nagle is now in Australia. However, Éire Óg’s Ciaran Russell is back training, having recovered from a hamstring injury. Clare manager Colm Collins, who is starting his fifth season in the post, says that the absence of those players is a “natural progression” and that it will afford opportunities to younger defenders on Saturday against Cavan. “It’s the natural progression of things. A team develops for one reason or another and you’re going to be without some players. Certain players …

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Footballers off to a winning start in McGrath Cup

Clare 2-18 Waterford 1-9 ON Saturday in Meelick, 10 Clare footballers started their first game for the county and while Waterford deteriorated as the season opening McGrath Cup game wore on, several Clare players suggested that they will definitely be of help in adding depth to the league and championship panel. When the game was a contest in the opening half, Eimhin Courtney was superb, kicking 0-4 from play and moving impressively. In the opposite corner of the full forward line, Conor Finnucane also demonstrated his ability and if both can keep that up, they will definitely be viable options as will full forward, Gearóid O’Brien. All three would definitely add something either from the start, against better opposition or in the last 20 minutes. That’s exactly what Clare are looking for. Other who looked the part, albeit against limited opposition, included Alan Sweeney, Darragh Bohannan and Aaron Fitzgerald at centre-back, while Killian Roche was very solid in goals, under …

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Recalling 1917 football All-Ireland final

Almost 100 years to the day of Clare’s only All-Ireland senior football final appearance, the names of the players and mentors who were part of the panel, the clubs they represented, the results of each round, the venues where they played and the dates on which the games took place have all been recorded on a poster, framed and put on display at Clare GAA headquarters at Clareabbey. The framed document was handed over to Clare GAA during the senior footballers’ medal presentation ceremony at Tubridy’s in Doonbeg last Saturday night, in the presence of a number of relatives of those involved in 1917. Kilkee native JT Larkin and his brother, Michael, who played senior football with the county for a number of years, were instrumental in bringing this project to fruition. “Michael is a newsagent in Miltown and various people coming in to his shop this year raised the topic and asked if some commemoration was to take place. …

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Collins must remain in charge

While there were no formal announcements made as to the future, the vibes are strong that manager Colm Collins and some senior players will call time on their involvement with the county senior squad for next season. After Saturday’s defeat, the Cratloe club man said, “I have four years done and they must be getting sick of me but this evening is not the time to talk about that. We will take a bit of time.” There is concern amongst members of the squad that, after four years in charge, he will not seek another term, despite acknowledging on Saturday that “a lot of things are going well and there is more in Clare. There’s a fantastic bunch of players there but that’s no consolation this evening”. When a team bows out of a championship, there is always speculation as to who might call time on their inter-county careers and, this week, it’s no different for the Clare footballers. Gordon …

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Clubs row back on Laois boycott

THE managers of the last two county senior football champions have confirmed to The Clare Champion that withdrawing county players from Saturday’s All-Ireland qualifier against Laois was a live option. County champions and Cusack Cup holders, Kilmurry-Ibrickane, along with their neighbours, St Joseph’s Miltown, are furious that Clare County Board imposed a €200 fine on them and handed the points to O’Curry’s and Doonbeg respectively, after Cusack Cup fixtures were not played on the weekend of June 3. Clondegad and Éire Óg have also suffered a similar fate, with the points awarded to Lissycasey and St Breckan’s. All four fined clubs had refused to line-out without their inter-county footballers in the sixth round of the Cusack and Garry cups. “We are very upset over it. We got a lot of support from the county players but we felt that the nuclear option wasn’t feasible after all the hard work these guys have put in and their long years of service,” …

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