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Clare’s Darragh Lohan on the pitch before the 2023 Munster Senior Championship Final against Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds. Photograph by John Kelly

‘I believe we’ve built a squad as good as theirs’ – Lohan

On the panel for a number of years now Darragh, nephew of manager Brian, made his Championship debut last year when introduced as a substitute in the Waterford game and went on to start in the All Ireland quarter final victory over Dublin. This season the Wolfe Tones clubman has had plenty of game time to try and impress and he has certainly grabbed his opportunity with aplomb. Starting the League final at midfield, Lohan put in a powerful shift and is of course delighted with his National league medal.
“It was an absolute fierce battle against Kilkenny as it always tends to be. We didn’t play as well as we have or as we can do but it’s all about the result and we’re delighted with the win. To be honest it’s great to get a reward for the hard work that we’ve put in over the last few years. To win a medal with your county is what all the hard work is for. To be fair about it Brian has given every single player a chance throughout the league and for me I’m just really proud to play any part that I can for my county.”
With all the players that have seen action throughout the Munster Senior league and the National league Clare seem to have built a really strong panel and Darragh feels that the standard of Clare hurling just keeps rising.
“There’s unbelievable competition for places. Training has been brilliant and it’s all the players, especially the ones that’s aren’t in the match day squad that are driving the standards. Each and everyone of them work so hard all the time to deliver for the team. The lads that aren’t in the twenty six on match day are just as important and deserve huge credit. They never miss training or bring any negativity. They just all train like demons, all pushing each other on and we go out to play for each other every single day.”
Having had a taste of the round robin last year the 2024 Fitzgibbon cup finalist with the University of Limerick is hopeful he can see more action this time around as he feels that there’s nothing like playing in the Munster Championship.
“It really is where you want to play. The quality in Munster is above anything else in my opinion. Any of the five teams can beat each other and you have to be physically ready and mentally focused. For myself the way I look at it is that it’s up to me to try get into the twenty six first and then ultimately the starting fifteen. For me it’s all about helping my county as best I can whether that’s starting or coming on as a substitute it doesn’t matter. We are all in this together and winning the league is great but we know if we don’t perform in the next couple of games we’ll be out and our year will be over.”
Although he has genuine respect for what Limerick have achieved he most certainly doesn’t fear them and is really looking forward to a packed Cusack Park and an almighty derby.
“There’s no doubting that Limerick are the standard bearers for every other team to try catch up to. Their record is unbelievable and they have so much quality but I genuinely believe we’ve built a squad just as good as theirs. We never fear anyone and we certainly won’t fear them either. We have gone toe to toe with them anytime we’ve played. It’s all about that opening match now and Limerick is where our focus is. We can’t look past it to the Cork game either and we definitely don’t want the situation we had last year when we lost our first game in the Park. You never want to lose any match but you really don’t want to lose playing in front of your home crowd in your county grounds and you can’t be losing to your nearest rivals.”
When talking to Darragh one cannot but feel his sense of pride and love of the jersey.
“It’s an incredible honour to put on that jersey and fight for your county. Growing up you have so many heroes and now you get to wear that same jersey, it’s magical. To go out and fight for those amazing Clare supporters at home is really special and I just can’t wait. We always respond to the roars of the Clare fans and we’ll need every single one of them all driving us on when that sliotar is thrown in on Sunday.”

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