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‘The players are there’ for new Clare football manager

NEWLY-appointed Clare senior football manager Micheál McDermott is in no doubt but that the players are there and he is looking forward to the challenge of managing the county senior football side in 2010.
The Cavan native has been in charge of Kilmurry-Ibrickane for the past two years and led them to successive county senior titles. “The players will come out and make themselves available to play for Clare,” he said.
He has already held a meeting with his selectors, James Foran and Liam McHale. “It was awful positive. They are really looking forward to the job,” he said. It is also McDermott’s plan to appoint another selector. “We will be looking at the appointment of another selector during the coming weeks”.
Appointed to the post just over a week ago, the new manager has already drawn up plans.
“We met at the weekend and we will be holding a trial game on Saturday week. We will be approaching all clubs to recommend players who they would like to see on the panel. This is only for players who were not on last year’s panel,” explained McDermott.
Club managers are likely to be particularly interested in McDermott’s announcement that he will be asking a representative from each club to come in and sit down after next week’s game to discuss the issues which clubs have.
“There have been complaints for some time that there isn’t enough communication between inter-county managers and the clubs of the various counties resulting in clashes between the clubs and county officials,” he said.
McDermott is well placed to organise such a meeting as he has seen what is involved from both sides. He has served as Clare junior manager for a number of years before taking on the task of club manager at Kilmurry-Ibrickane. He will know what the problems are for inter county players with regard to their club and county commitments.
“We will put our points forward and we will be hoping to hear the clubs views”, he said.
With a ban on collective training for inter-county senior squads until January 1, McDermott has to plan for the New Year and has already arranged a challenge game against NUI Galway for January 2.
“We expect that the opening game in the McGrath Cup will take place a week later. Everything will be geared around football and we are certainly looking forward to the season ahead.
Clare’s opening game in division 4 of the National football league will be on Sunday, February 7, when they will have Wicklow as visitors to Cusack Park. Kerry’s Mick O’Dwyer has recently committed to taking charge of Wicklow for a third season and they have made no secret of their ambition to win promotion from division 4 so Clare can expect a tough challenge there.
A week later Clare will be hotly fancied to overcome Kilkenny and they will follow with league ties against Leitrim on March 6, London on March 14, Carlow on March 21, Longford on March 28, Limerick on April 3 and Waterford on April 11.
The match with Waterford is sure to hold special interest as the sides will clash in the opening round of the Munster championship in May for the right to play Limerick in the semi-final.

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