Enda Coughlan was the most experienced player to feature for Clare in their eleven point defeat to Kerry last Sunday with the utility man to consider his County future in the coming months.
In the moments after making his twenty fourth championship appearance for Clare, Coughlan outlined his regret with the display they produced. “Themselves and Dublin are probably the top two teams in the country at the moment so it was always going to be difficult to beat them but from when we’re coming from we need to get up to that level, we need to be able to definitely compete with these teams if not beat them and that display out there we’re very disappointed with”.
Often when a team comes through the back-door their exit from the championship is accredited with tiredness and fatigue but the Kilmurry Ibrickane man doesn’t abide by that philosophy.
“We probably were a bit too defensive I don’t know, they say momentum when we’re winning is great and they say tiredness when we lose is another thing, I like playing week on week anyway I’d say the rest of the boys are the same, they missed a lot aswell you have to give them credit they were good there’s no point saying otherwise, I still think we were a little nervous we got a bad start with the first goal and we were always trying to claw our way back after that”.
Achieving their target of promotion was a plus for Enda and his teammates, playing teams in Division 2 will help just as Sunday’s encounter highlighted how much they need to improve on the speed of their game.
“What we targeted at the start of the year to get up the divisions try and get up as much as we can and they’re just talking about it there the speed of the football out there was a step up to what we’re used to and we’ve got to get up to that level if we’re to go any further”.
He has been a member of the County panel since 2004 and remarkably the quarter-final defeat to Kerry last week was the first time he played championship football in Croke Park. The Roxboro based Garda is adamant this can’t be a once off appearance for this panel.
“The younger lads there have been great the likes of Eoin Cleary, Jamie Malone all these young lads coming through, Keelan, Pearse they will learn from this, a few of them it was their first second third year playing in a quarter-final in Croke Park that has to bring them on and it will, maybe if it didn’t go for a lot of them today it will still be a learning curve and that’s what it’s all about and I think next year they’ll compete in Division 2 hopefully we’ll do well in it and who knows what’ll happen after that, hopefully we’ll get back here the next couple of years you just don’t want to be a flash in the pan”.
While now his attention will turn to the Clare SFC for Enda, the thirty year old is also going to consider his future as an inter-county footballer. “Anything I could contribute this year I tried to do it, I’ll have to sit down talk to my family, talk to the wife and see where it goes from there”.