CERTAIN players on the Clare hurling panel wanted his head on a plate after he dropped a prominent player from the panel for disciplinary reasons.
That’s the considered view of the manager himself, Mike McNamara who said players brought other agendas into play in having him removed as manager.
And delivering his parting shot at Tuesday’s board meeting, he accused these players of refusing to accept responsibility and lacking in the qualities that are necessary to achieve success.
The full text of McNamara’s letter, read out at the board meeting, is:
“In September 2007, you the club delegates in County Clare, ratified my appointment as manager of the Clare senior hurling team. It’s been tested on a number of occasions since that ratification process was completed. I thank you sincerely for your confidence in me, for the courage you have displayed in determining and maintaining your right as club delegates to select the Clare senior hurling manager.
I have been involved in the management, training and coaching of inter-county teams for the past 20 years. During that period, I have been involved in the preparation of 11 teams that have reached provincial finals, five of which were victorious. Five teams reached All-Ireland finals and three of these resulted in victory. The statistics can be examined and analysed. I believe they are unequalled in County Clare.
My methods of training and coaching are well documented. They have been consistent throughout all this time. My primary objective was to achieve success and in order to do this, certain demands were placed on the levels of commitment, honesty and leadership of an entire panel of players.
In my first year of management with the current team, we reached the Munster final. This was the first time in a 10-year period that Clare put back-to-back victories together in the Munster championship. We were competitive and displayed an appetite and eagerness for hurling.
To make the transition from challenging for honours to winning the 2009 campaign required a number of issues to be addressed, in particular, self-discipline within the panel. In addressing this issue, the removal of a certain player from the panel appears to have contributed to the present impasse.
Since the last meeting, serious efforts have been made to resolve the difficulties that have arisen. It has always been my wish that the entire panel of 34 players should assemble and air whatever grievances may exist. This was not possible and when the panel eventually met, 21 players attended. This meeting confirmed my view that another agenda was in place. This agenda was set in motion by senior panel members following the stance I adopted on issues of indiscipline within the panel throughout the year.
How different was this meeting to the one held during the year which 17 panel members and a former panel member attended to discuss the removal of the Clare senior hurling management? Both meetings had a common objective by the players, the removal of Mike McNamara as manager of the Clare senior hurling team irrespective of the views of either the club delegates or the county board.
The last meeting highlighted a number of issues that were primarily logistical. The county board and management of the team undertook to rectify these matters. An issue of confidence in the management team was raised and I gave a commitment to make additions to the management and coaching set-up.
As a management team, we took responsibility for the results of 2009. It was hugely disappointing that some players failed to accept responsibility for their part in the result and, in particular, for individual errors that resulted in defeat throughout the league campaign.
These players have refused to consider compromise.
They adopted a position without the considered view of one-third of the panel and refused to deviate from this stance. It is with regret and huge disappointment that I offer my resignation as manager of the Clare senior hurling team to you, the members of Clare County Board.
It is not because of any of the issues highlighted by the players but because of the lack of the qualities that I firmly believe are necessary to achieve success.
As I have previously stated, it is regrettable that a management structure in the GAA has been placed in the position by a group of people whose vision and desire for success falls far short of the required standard.
I believe the decision I have taken to be in the best interest of Clare hurling.
Again, I thank you the delegates for your confidence and your courage in these difficult times for Clare hurling. I want to thank the management team for their commitment and loyalty to me and to Clare.
The officers of the county board have at all times acted in an honourable and decent manner in all matters that concern the board and the management team.”