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Corofin coach, Matt Shannon

‘Run to Munster Final has shortened winter’- Matt Shannon


Corofin native Matt Shannon feels his side have brought the Christmas cheer to the area as the club’s Intermediate hurlers prepare for a tilt at Munster glory.
Shannon, who is a member of the Corofin backroom team, knows his side face a tricky assignment against Cork outfit Castlelyons. However, he is clearly enjoying the journey as Corofin aim to become the first side from the county to secure provincial Intermediate honours since 2015.
“The mood could not be much better. When you are winning especially at this time of year it is great. The whole parish gets a lift. It is hard to believe we are heading into December. The run to this Munster final has really shortened the winter.”
“It is great for everyone. There is a really good mood in the parish. We have given the supporters something to help them keep busy and shorten the winter. They love sport in Corofin. For me seeing the kids out on the pitch after the games has been great. This is planting the seed for them. They can see the players before them winning and then maybe they can do the same when the time comes.”
On a big weekend for Clare hurling, with Clonlara and Corofin in Munster finals, the North Clare side navigated their dual efforts impressively when both sides were in competitive fare.
Corofin’s footballers ending up in a relegation final against Clondegad was certainly far from ideal especially with the extra workload it brought for this crop. However, they successfully saved their status and will now be senior in both codes for 2024.
Shannon believes the panel’s bond has helped them overcome any potential fatigue while with the focus exclusively on hurling from now until their campaign ends, he believes Corofin have enjoyed an ideal build up.
“There has been a lot on but fair deuce to the footballers they closed it out. We would have a large cohort of players playing both codes. One thing about this group is that they are an extremely close bunch. They hang out together outside of hurling or football.”
“We only just closed out the county final against the Bridge without firing on all cylinders. After the county final we had no more dual players with just the hurling left. The shackles have been off since. It is just one code to prepare for so we can get our training in for the two weeks.”
So, what has been the highlight of this Corofin journey to date?
“My belief at the start of the year and I am not trying to be arrogant here, but I felt in the last year or two Corofin should have been coming out of Intermediate. We did what we should have by winning Intermediate. Since then, maybe it is not highlights but the most pleasing aspect for us has been the resilience shown by the group.”
“We said after the county final that the lads would find out about themselves and see how good they really are. They have taken that on. They went down to Tipp and got a result. Then the last day, I seen people who I have not seen in a long time. It has given the older generation a bigger lift. Some of the older players are now getting their chance at this stage because of the resolve we showed the last day. That was pleasing for us.”
Managing the occasion and thriving under the bright lights is something Corofin will hope to do. However, there are few guarantees in sport with finals often taking on a life of their own.
Shannon wants his side to enjoy the experience and not possess any potential ‘what if’ moments when the final whistle sounds.
“This is what you play sport for. Don’t shy away from it. Embrace it. It is brilliant for supporters, and it is important players embrace it. When we settle down it will be just another game on the journey. We hope to be training the following week.”
“It is an occasion. We are aware of that. We have to embrace it and go after it. Players have come and gone before you. It is your time now to create your own legacy and leave the jersey in a better place.”

 

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