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Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor.
Joint Clare hurling managers Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor

Cooney Expecting Progress On Banner Management Teams Early Next Week

Chairman of Clare GAA Joe Cooney is confident progress will be made early next week on the appointment of management teams for the Banner’s inter-county sides for 2020.

Football boss Colm Collins has already told The Clare Champion that he is likely to remain in his position for the coming season with confirmation of his backroom team expected in the next few weeks.

The make-up of the senior hurling management is creating the most talking points with Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor having come to the end of their three-year term following Clare’s exit from the championship earlier this summer. Following that, delegates requested a review of Clare hurling to be undertaken following a disappointing provincial campaign which saw Clare fail to advance to the All-Ireland series.

Cooney confirmed that the review is currently underway and outlined the steps being taken.

“It was only for the hurling that the review was requested and that is ongoing at the moment. We have spoken to different GAA people throughout the county and we have also spoken to some of the players and part of the management team to get their views on it. We have also gone to people involved in the development squads to see are we doing the right thing at underage level and that is what we are doing at the moment. We have got responses back from different people on that and we are continuing to do that” he explained.

There is growing speculation that Moloney and O’Connor will look to continue in the role for another year, while former Waterford boss Derek McGrath is understood to have been approached to get involved in the coaching set-up as part of a new look backroom team. Cooney confirmed no final decision will be made until the next county board meeting which is due to take place in September, with the final decision to be made by club delegates as to whether or not they ratify the candidates for the coming year.

The future of the Clare U-20 and minor hurling management is also to be decided, with Sean Doyle and Fergal Lynch yet to confirm if they are going to take on their respective roles for a second term. 2019 saw the Banner’s minor hurlers qualify for the Munster final before losing out to Limerick while two defeats in the All-Ireland quarter-final round robin series brought the curtain down on their campaign. The U-20’s lost out to Cork in the Munster quarter-final with the Rebels going on to claim the provincial title before booking their spot in the All-Ireland final.

Colm Collins is set to remain in charge of the Banner’s footballers for a seventh season and is understood to be currently working on the make-up of his backroom team. This year saw Clare come within a whisker of reaching the Super 8 series of the All-Ireland championship as a one point loss to Meath ended their year in the final round of qualifiers. It is expected that Collins will be the only candidate proposed to delegates at the next board meeting for ratification for the position.

Former All-Star Seamus Clancy also looks set to continue as Clare U-20 football manager with his backroom to be confirmed. The Corofin clubman will be hoping to improve on their championship showing in 2019 which saw Waterford coming out on top by the minimum in their Munster quarter-final showdown.

Dermot Coughlan is continuing as Clare minor football manager, with the Kilmurry Ibrickane clubman guiding his young side to silverware in the Daryl Darcy Munster B championship before narrowly losing out to eventual All-Ireland finalists Cork and provincial champions Kerry.

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