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Honeymoon over for Lynch

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Clooney-Quin’s Fergal Lynch, one of two vice-captains in the Clare senior hurling squad, was away from collective training recently for a couple of weeks. Lynch was in Chicago and New York on honeymoon but being away from Clare didn’t mean a break from training.


Fergal Lynch believes Clare are an up and coming team. Photograph by Declan Monaghan“I had a good bit of training done beforehand and Joe O’Connor set up a programme for me, which I followed while away. I knew if I came back in bad shape there are lads in the panel that would be nipping at my heels ready to take my place in the squad. It is dog eat dog and the team is not yet named for Sunday. We still have a few sessions to go to prove ourselves,” the Quin schoolteacher said.

According to Lynch, the first session back wasn’t easy, given the intensity the lads were playing at. “My first game back was against Tipperary in Clonlara and I didn’t expect to be playing. Halfway through the match I was told I was coming on. The best way is to be thrown in at the deep end and get adjusted as quickly as possible.

“We are focussed on this but Waterford are an established team that won a Munster title only two years ago. It’s 14 years since Clare won. They are a seasoned team and we are an up-and-coming team and hopefully we will come,” Lynch said.

How beneficial is it that there is such competition for places in the squad? “There are 35 on the panel, 25 get a jersey and only 15 can play. That has been made clear to us over the past couple of months. Whether you want a jersey or want to sit in the stand, it is up to you. We have made it competitive and we don’t want to be standing watching the game. There are unbelievable talents coming through.

“In the past couple of years, we have had top-class minor and U-21 players. It’s healthy competition, which is also needed. Look at Kilkenny or Tipperary when a fella gets injured. He could be out for the rest of the year because his replacement holds his place,” he added.

“Davy will know what Waterford are capable of but Waterford will also know what he is capable of. He has been there and done that and trained so many teams. He has won so many competitions as a player and he will know what it takes. He sees what way is best for us to play. Some people might not agree with that but we are going out with the intention of beating Waterford. He will have an insight but at the end of the day we have to hurl and it’s down to the 15 on the field. Davy can orchestrate some things from the sideline but he can’t do it for us,” he said when asked about what influence Fitzgerald’s involvement might have.

Lynch sees the success achieved by the Clare minor and U-21 sides in recent years as a huge asset, as success breeds success. “You see in all the sports. All they want to do is keep winning. I remember 10 or 11 years ago going into the dressing room at my first training session and looking at Brian Lohan, Jamesie O’Connor and Seanie McMahon, You are in awe. I go into a dressing room now and see lads with minor and U-21 medals and I am just as in awe.

“These lads have huge talent and the really have what it takes to play and win with Clare. They are nursing us along. They are showing their winning ways to us. Our league win was the first considerable thing Clare had won since 1998. Hopefully, it will spur us on to win a lot more,” he concluded.

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