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Tag Archives: Clare footballers

Collins commits to Clare footballers for eighth consecutive season

COLM Collins said he thought “long and hard” before committing to a return as Clare senior football manager for another season. Collins confirmed this week that he would be staying on in the role that has seen him lift Clare from division four to division two and to the brink of a place in football’s top tier. It means an eighth year at the helm for the Cratloe man since succeeding Mick O’Dwyer, making Collins the longest serving manager with the same county in Gaelic football. Clare’s preparations for a season unlikely to have a definitive roadmap for weeks to come are at a very early stage. Collective training is not allowed under the current level of restrictions so players are currently undertaking individual strength and conditioning programmes. Collins and his backroom team have also started preliminary work on tactics via Zoom meetings The Allianz leagues are expected to be pushed back from the original start dates of February 27 …

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Improvement needed against Longford

DIVISION 3 has emerged as a particularly congested and unpredictable league this season. With just two rounds left to play, the only team that cannot be relegated in Kildare. They are on eight points from five matches followed by four teams on six points including Clare and Longford, who meet in Cusack Park on Sunday. Tipperary and Offaly also sit on six points, which leaves five teams, including Kildare, vying for the two promotion places. Clare’s three wins have been achieved against the bottom-three teams, Limerick, Westmeath and Sligo, while they have lost away to Tipperary and Offaly. This weekend’s game is a very significant one on several fronts. The winner will be potentially one game away from promotion, while the loser could, in a worst-case scenario, end up relegated. Clare will play Kildare away in their final league fixture and definitely do not want to have to travel looking for a win to ensure their divisional status. If Clare …

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Clare to make changes for Armagh visit?

UNLESS Clare beat Armagh in Ennis on Sunday, their hopes of having a crack at promotion will splinter beyond rescue. Conversely, a Clare win would be a massive morale boost, backed up by the points that would leave them in a great position, with games away to Limerick and at home to Fermanagh to come. Armagh are top of Division 3, with three wins and a draw. The latter result was at home to Fermanagh last Saturday night, when Kieran McGeeney’s team allowed an eight-point second-half lead to evaporate. Following Clare’s six-point loss to Tipperary, management will have a few decisions to make regarding who to start. Only about six of the starting 15 played anywhere near the required level. Those who did included Cathal O’Connor, Shane McGrath, Martin McMahon, Podge Collins, Ciaran Russell and Dean Ryan. That leaves huge scope for improvement, which will be the minimum demand on Sunday. Management will have to decide whether to give the …

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Coach Fitzgerald to focus on basics with footballers

NEWLY-appointed Clare senior football coach, Ephie Fitzgerald  has cited breaking down coaching into particular strands as central to his philosophy. The Cork-based Youth Reach teacher, who deals primarily with early school-leavers, has enjoyed sustained success with his club, Nemo Rangers, while, just last weekend, he led Ballylanders to the Limerick senior football title. They play the Waterford champions in the provincial semi-final, with the winners playing Cratloe at home on November 16. “I’m just delighted to get back into the intercounty scene. I did a year with Limerick a few years back but I was under pressure to come back with the Cork minors. The intercounty scene is where it’s at for me at this stage. I’ve been involved in the club scene for a long time and I’ve had quite a bit of success with Nemo Rangers,” Fitzgerald told The Clare Champion this week. “At the start of this year, Ballylanders asked me to give a hand. I wasn’t …

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Crucial week for Clare GAA

A crucial week for Clare inter-county teams begins on Saturday at Wexford Park, where the senior hurlers play Wexford in their qualifier first round replay. Fortunate to have earned a draw at Cusack Park last week, when extra time failed to separate the teams, Clare will again put their All-Ireland title on the line. They will have to do so without Shane O’Donnell (injured) and Podge Collins (suspended). The game has a throw-in time of 5pm and will be shown live on RTÉ television, with commentary on Clare FM. Victory will see Clare in action again on Saturday week, when Waterford will provide the opposition at Thurles, while defeat will mark the end of their season. Attention will then turn to the senior footballers for their first round qualifier meeting with Carlow at the Leinster side’s Dr Cullen Park. This tie will take place at 2pm on Sunday. Clare expect to have a full panel available, which means that Podge …

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Follow me up to Carlow

Clare footballers will be heading for Dr Cullen Park in Carlow for their qualifier game on the weekend after next.  Although considered to be the easiest of the potential opponents, at this stage in the competition, Clare will be taking nothing for granted. Clare will hope to build on the performance against Kerry in the Munster championship clash at Cusack Park a couple of weeks ago. Despite a solid display, they missed a glorious opportunity to pinch a rare victory over the men from the Kingdom. The date of the football game could prove problematic from an organisational point of view for Clare, should the hurlers beat Wexford in their qualifier encounter, which will take place at Cusack Park, Ennis on Saturday afternoon, with a 3.30pm throw-in. The match will be shown live on RTE and broadcast on Clare FM. Should Clare, as expected, win, it is understood the county board will apply to have the hurling and football games …

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Clare minors slump to Kerry

Kerry 2-16 Clare 0-7 Seamus Hayes A KERRY team that followers of the game in the Kingdom believe will have a big say in the destination of the All-Ireland title, proved too strong for their Banner opponents in the opening round of the Munster Minor Football Championship at Cusack Park on Wednesday. While the home side did create three excellent goal opportunities, they were outplayed in many sectors. In the losers round, Clare travel to play Limerick on Thursday next, who lost to Cork on Wednesday. There was surprise when the Clare side was named on Monday regarding the positioning of some players. On their path to winning the Minor A Championship last year, Brian Cahill, the team captain, played either at midfield or centre-back for Lissycasey. On Wednesday he lined out at corner-back, a position he filled until he was black carded, a somewhat harsh ruling by the referee, after 20 minutes. Kerry dominated the aerial battle at midfield …

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