FORMER Clare goalkeeper, county U-21 manager and senior selector James Hanrahan has told The Clare Champion the new Clare senior football manager should be afforded the opportunity to oversee the development of a specific style of football in all county teams from U-16 up to senior.
The current Éire Óg manager feels Clare must develop a style of play understood and adopted by every player and mentor involved with all squads. The new senior manager, he maintains, should oversee all of this.
“The manager needs to have control of a lot of things. I would suggest that the manager who comes in has control over development squads from U-16s up and has some say in the running of the minor and U-21 teams.
“After three years, he’d have a system in place where everybody is playing the same type of football and everybody knows that when you come into a minor team, you’re going to be playing this way. It should be the same thing when you come into a senior or U-21 team,” Hanrahan suggested.
“I think that’s the way it should go. Somebody comes in, they get five years. They organise the development squads from U-16 up, they have a say in the way the minors and U-21s play and they control the seniors as well,” he explained.
Hanrahan feels that, as things stand, a minor, U-21 and senior management team might have radically different ideas as to how to play, which doesn’t lead to a uniform approach.
“Everybody has their own ideas. You’re bringing a guy in for maybe three years at the most and you’re expecting him to get out of Division 4, when a lot of the best players aren’t playing for him. That’s something that needs to be looked at.
“It’s up to the county board but my suggestion would be that you get somebody in that’s willing to develop a football scene in the county. Run it like a Premiership soccer club, where the manager is in control of all the teams up along. Players are well looked after and kitted out. You can even see it with a lot of the soccer teams in Clare. They’re all well looked after. They all have their gear and everything. I think that’s the way it should go at county level as well,” he said.
On another note, Hanrahan is adamant that club footballers should be playing during the summer months.
“I think the whole structure of football in the county has to be looked at. Fellas need to be playing football in June, July and August, when they’re off from school and college. That’s the best time to be playing, which might need the league to be played during the summer,” he suggested.