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Third level football a Clare free zone

SOME of the following figures may not appear too relevant as the Clare senior footballers prepare to play London in Cusack Park at 1pm on Saturday.  Clare sit on two points from three games to date, having lost to Leitrim and Carlow by a point. Their only win up to now was against Kilkenny in Miltown.

Perhaps the statistics point to one of the reasons why Clare football has been anchored at the bottom rung of Munster and league football for several years. Even the county board cannot be blamed this time.
Two hundred and eighty seven footballers togged out for the quarter–finals of the Sigerson Cup in Dublin last weekend. Not one of those footballers were from Clare. A few other bits of information stand out. Carlow, who beat Clare by a point two weeks ago in their last Division 4 game, had two players on UCD’s first 15.
While Sigerson Cup is the premier football event for third level institutions, not a single Clare man took the field in the quarter–finals of the Trench Cup either, which is the second tier. Of nearly 500 footballers who togged out in Dublin last week, that figure didn’t include a single Clare man who kicked a competitive ball.
Sigerson winners UCC had 24 Cork and 11 Kerry men on their panel. Clearly there is a divide between Clare sportspeople who attend third level and their counterparts from most counties.
Playing Sigerson or Trench Cup would definitely bring players on and expose them to a high standard of preparation and coaching.
That issue however won’t be of much concern to the Clare senior football panel on Saturday. With successive home games against Roscommon and Longford upcoming, the next three weeks is Clare’s last chance to salvage their league season. They will definitely win this weekend but of equal importance is how they play as they get ready for Roscommon.
Hopefully, they will play at a high tempo, put London away early and then throw everything at Roscommon on Sunday week.
Both David Tubridy and Gordon Kelly will return following their red cards against Leitrim on February 6 but John Hayes and Mark Tubridy are still suspended. They were red carded against Carlow on February 27 in Dr Cullen Park.
Saturday’s game will throw in at 1pm in Cusack Park.


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