Kieran O’Neill has been handed the task of turning the fortunes around at St Josephs Doora/Barefield.
By Jamesy Mc Conigley
St Joseph’s appointed O’Neill as Colm Clancy’s replacement in the back end of 2016 and the former Doonbeg boss will link up with Eddie Killeen, Michael Roughan, Morgan Rowland and Martin Sexton in the hope of bettering recent campaigns.
“I’m one of these people who doesn’t look back, I always look forward. We’re just gearing for the first round of the championship, hopefully it will be on in the middle of June and that’s our main aim. Can we have good preparation? Hopefully we get over that and we can use every second week with hurling and football, we’ve got to move on with our recoveries and plan ahead”, the new Doora/Barefield boss said in conversation with The Clare Herald.
Wing-back on Clare’s infamous 1992 Munster senior football championship winning team, O’Neill is readying his side for a long year with one or two goals in place, “My main ambition is to win the first round of championship and to try stay up in the Cusack Cup because we’re a dual club and its tough going to try and get the best out our players all the time.”
“We’re going be flexible this year with Seanie McMahon getting involved in the hurling so we’re trying to bring the club together as a dual club. The last couple of years we were scattered, players getting pulled different directions and so this year we hope to bring the whole lot together.”
With the senior team staving off relegation worries when they overcame Kilrush the Parish’s minor outfit registered an impressive thirteen point county final victory against rivals Éire Óg to the delight of the new senior manager.
When questioned about integrating some of this triumphant minor team, O’Neill said “We will of course, a few players have retired and some players are moving on and concentrating on just hurling only so I’ve no problem with that but it’s great to a cushion to bring new players in.”
Having won numerous accolades as a player and coach Kieran senses that the time is right to trust in his youth. “There is some good young lad’s in the parish, I remember we won the minor in 2010, we had a good minor team and a lot of them fell by the wayside so we just need to nurture these young lads and give them their chance and see what their made of.”
In his last post as a club football manager, Kieran guided Doonbeg to their last county final appearance in 2013. Doora/Barefield have fallen since competing in the 2011 and 2012 county deciders, the Nail may just be the man needed to help them rise again.