St Josephs Doora/Barefield’s return to the senior ranks will be aided by the steady hands of Seanie McMahon steering their challenge.
By Jamesy McConigley
Two time All-Ireland winner and three time All-Star, McMahon returns to manage his native St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield after two years as part of Donal Moloney’s management team with the Clare U21 and Intermediate hurlers.
The 43 year-old succeeds Eamon Corry in the role who stepped down when securing triumph in the 2016 Clare IHC Final against Broadford. St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield were relegated to intermediate hurling in 2014, 13 years after winning their last county title and 15 years after their All-Ireland club success but since then have bounced back to regain senior status.
Mc Mahon coined 2016 “a year of two halves”, beginning with opening round defeats in the Clare Cup and losing key players through injury but their luck came around. “The year turned on the Ruan game in the middle of the year. The lads really drove on from there, they gathered real momentum and the second half (of the year) was absolutely fantastic with winning the championship, it was just brilliant”.
“Eamon and the lads that were there last year done a great job, brilliant job altogether, a great achievement to come up out of intermediate. Intermediate is a very hard championship to win”, the ex-Clare captain told The Clare Herald.
Watching from the stands last year, one of the game’s greatest centre-backs ambition’s are well in reach for his group of players, “We’ll be aiming to continue the progress, we had a couple of years that things didn’t go so well but there was great progress last year and we’ll have to build on that and keep progressing. We’ve a young team and I wouldn’t really be setting any targets and at the end of the day we just want to make sure that we’re improving.”
Winning a club All-Ireland with his side in 1999, Seanie isn’t targeting 2017 as a year to prove a point to critic’s but instead hopes that the players and management can perform when it matters and represents the club with pride.
Having sunk his teeth into the inter-county scene, the parish manager understands that St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield have always been a dual club, he feels that working with the clubs senior football boss will be essential for both teams to achieve their goals, “I think that’s part of our club and that’s always been the way but the best way to get around that is don’t involve other team’s. I know Kieran well and you know there will be no issue between myself and Kieran.” He added “We’re going to work things out so ultimately to make sure we don’t burn out players and we give both the hurling and football the best chance to be at their best on the days that matter.”