Ivan Smyth spoke to senior camogie manager Ger O’Connell ahead of the crunch game against Galway
WITH four teams in Clare’s group and only the top two progressing and a gallant defeat to Kilkenny already in the records, Banner manager Ger O’Connell understands the importance of this Saturday’s game against Galway.
With Cathal Murray’s side easily dispatching the challenge of Westmeath, the pressure is on Clare to secure a result in order to keep their hopes of progression alive heading in to the final round of fixtures.
“It’s do or die in the next game (against Galway). Our season is on the line. We have nothing to lose going into it. It will be a fierce challenge but it’s one we have to face head on.”
“It’s hard to explain the effort the players are putting in. I know with the league people may have looked at our results and thought Kilkenny would win easily.
“Those people don’t know Clare camogie and don’t know the work rate of our bunch. We were driving forward late in that game and they were the ones with sometimes just two players up top.”
“We have put an awful lot of work in to building our fitness and I think that showed. We took lessons from the Cork defeat last year when we stayed with them but faded a bit near the end. We need to bring that same energy we had today up to Athenry next week.”
“We had a few players come on and make an impact. The McMahons (Laura and Roisin) gave us plenty of energy. Siofra Ní Chonaill made her presence felt when she came on. All our subs made an impact so the players are putting their hands up. No matter who makes the team, we need a squad and subs who can give us something different.”
When asked what Galway need to do to overcome the Tribeswomen, O’Connell refers to the high turnover count against Kilkenny and the chances squandered in front of goals.
“For the Galway game, the word composure comes to mind. We need to be relaxed on the ball. When we create the goal chances we need to take them. We have to make the most of turnovers and be efficient with possession. I’m looking for our group to go toe to toe with this Galway side and physically stand up to them. If we can do those things then we give ourselves a big chance.”