Former Clare footballer Kieran Considine believes Clare are “going into the lion’s den” when they travel to Fitzgerald Stadium to take on Kerry this Saturday.
“It is going into the lion’s den, particularly when you saw what Kerry did to Tyrone. Colm (Collins) will put all that to one side, and he’ll treat it as a one-off game. The bar he will set to the players is to max out on their own ability on the day. That’s all you can ask from any team: play to your max and try to limit the other team.
“Kerry are much talked-about as main rivals to Dublin, so it’s always going to be a daunting task. Colm will want to see a performance and players will want that chance to test themselves, and that’s the opportunity they will get.”
However, he believes Clare can take a lot of positives from their four point league defeat to Mayo as they outscored their opponents by 2-10 to 0-9 in the second half.
“You would have been slightly worried at half time but they put in a huge second half to be in it going right down to the wire. While it was disappointing to lose, it was a positive way to close out the league.”
“They have been hugely consistent in the league in the last number of years, and they were only pipped at the post by Armagh last year. So, they have been building really well and bringing through some young players. We saw that with the likes of Emmet McMahon coming on against Mayo and kicking three points when he was introduced. All in all, you’d have to be broadly happy with where they are, but you’d like to be in Division 1 where you can really test yourself.”
With Clare kicking 2-18 against Mayo, 1-18 versus Cork while finding the back of the net against Kildare and Laois in the league, Considine believes Clare have a forward unit that could provide problems for any defence.
He states that Eoin Cleary and David Tubridy, who became the league’s all time leading scorer earlier this year, are among the best in the game today.
“David’s contribution to Clare has been absolutely phenomenal and that accolade (the league’s all-time leading scorer) crept up on us all.
“The level of consistency that he has shown and delivered for Clare at all levels over the years is just phenomenal, and he has overcome some injuries as well. To stay at that level is exceptional. He can kick a score in the tiniest of spaces, which is what you see at the top level with David Clifford, Conor McManus and any of the Dublin forwards.”
“Similarly with Eoin who has been around the panel for a number of years, and is a real leader. He has hit some phenomenal scores including the one from the sideline (against Laois) that went viral.
“That’s not to forget Jamie Malone either, who missed a lot of the league through injury — he has been very good.”
“They say forwards win games and we have been blessed to have those players to keep us in the mix.
“We scored 2-18 against Mayo the last day and it speaks to the quality of forwards we have – David and Eoin in particular. They would be even more heralded if they were on some of the more high-profile teams.”
by Ivan Smyth