Clare renew rivalries with Tipperary tomorrow evening in the Munster minor football championship Phase One final.
The Daryl Darcy Cup is the prize on offer for the winners, along with progression to the next phase of the competition where Cork and Kerry await.
Details of the Clare team for the game are available here.
Clare come into the game off the back off defeat to Waterford last time out, but the loss made no real difference in terms of progression with the Banner safely through after opening round wins over Limerick and the Premier.
Manager Dermot Coughlan says progression to this stage was their primary goal at the outset of the campaign.
“Getting to the Phase One final was our main objective at the start of the year so to do that in the first two games was great. It gave us a chance to have a look at players against Waterford last week and even though we were beaten on the night it was good to give the panel a run and see a few more players in action” he said.
It will be the second time Clare and Tipperary cross swords in this year’s championship, with the Banner coming out on top by 1-10 to 0-6 when they met in Cusack Park in recent weeks. Coughlan a tough challenge lies ahead.
He said: “From knowing what they did in recent years and how they had been going in challenge games, they are a team I rate very highly. They are a really good side. We were at home the last night and just eventually got a run on them. It was a real game of chess and both teams kept it tight. It was when Eoin Talty got the goal that the game really opened up and we were able to push on. I had no doubt but that we were going to meet them again and as it turns out they’re facing us now in the final. They’re going be a really formidable opposition.
Clare tended to start slowly each of their three games so far, and took until almost half-time to register their first score when they last faced the Premier. Coughlan admits it is something they are working on.
“We had identified it as early as the Limerick game. We have started slowly and took our time to come into games and even have been slow to get on the score-board at times too. It is a concern and the longer that goes on and the longer you take to get your scores it allows teams to get a run at you. You are playing catch up then so we hope it is something we can correct on Wednesday night” he noted.
With a busy treatment table after the Waterford game, Clare have had a chance to recover this week ahead of taking on Tipperary on Wednesday evening. Dermot feels that the break has been a welcome one.
“We have had three Wednesday nights on the trot now so this is the first week we have had a break. We are lucky in the sense that we have had the use of Joe Garrihy’s swimming pool in Lahinch Seaword and he has been brilliant to us all year. He’s a great Clare man and we are very much indebted to him. The lads have really engaged with the recovery element and that all comes from their time with the development squads where they have a lot of good habits picked up. They have the foam roller in the bag and are using it before games and they are asking us to go to the pool rather than us telling them we are going there. We are delighted that they have bought into it and these lads really know how to look after themselves and know how important their recovery is” he noted.
Victory for Clare would move them into the next phase of the championship where they will face both Cork and Kerry in a second round-robin series where the top two will contest the provincial decider. Coughlan feels achieving that would be another big occasion for the development of underage football in Clare.
“At this stage now we are looking at knockout football, there are no second chances from here. You have to go for it and it will be all on the night. Everyone knows the prize that is there in terms of going on to play Cork and Kerry but the way I look at it is that we will be getting more games. We are on our fourth game now when Wednesday night comes around and hopefully that will continue. Getting six or seven championship games into players at that age is invaluable and we can see this year how the panel have developed and improved so we want that to continue” he concluded.