Having been pushed out to midfield this year Mark McCarthy hasn’t bat an eyelid with his positional change while helping his side to another county final.
By Jamesy McConigley
Affectionately known as ‘Cookie’, his will to win runs deep like his father’s. He knows that he is part of a talented, hard-working team and is thankful for this. “The competition for places is tough and I’m just happy to be starting on the team.”
McCarthy who has four Clare SFC medals to his name isn’t fazed too much by the hype talked about his side recently around the county. He believes that Cratloe will be sturdy opponents on Sunday and they will have to be on top of their game if they want to regain Jack Daly after a four year absence.“Cratloe are fit but they’ve also a lot of games under their belt too so that might take a bit out of them and we know our fitness will hold up against anyone”
He added “I think however experienced you are whatever age you are, how many county finals you’ve played in you’ll always have a few nerves the morning time but after the march, the nerves disappear.”
A certain sign on the N67 has annoyed the football faithful in the parish of Kilmurry Ibrickane but McCarthy is just happy to be back and have the opportunity to become champions for a fourteenth time.
Gaelic Football is worshipped in the village with flags and bunting flying proudly around the parish, “The buzz around the place is great just to be back after three or four years away from it”.
Having put Clare football back on the map after advancing to the All-Ireland Club Final in 2010, McCarthy still feels they are the darlings of Clare football, “Everyone can claim to be the home of football but we know who really is the home of football”.
Cookie emotionally has an unbreakable attachment to his club but it’s not just him, it’s everyone in Clare’s largest parish. “Whether it’s England, America or Australia, people from Kilmurry Ibrickane want to know how we’re getting on, some of us stayed around here cause of football”
Come Sunday after the Tulla Pipe Band finish their serenade, Cookie and co will focus on regaining supremacy in the County and add their names into Clare SFC folklore.