Neither a growing list of injuries or past achievements will impact on Clare ahead of their final Oscar Traynor group game with Roscommon on Sunday.
Stephen Kelly and Darragh Corry are both ruled out with question marks remaining over the fitness of Eoin Hayes, David McCarthy and Colin Smyth. All five are regular starters for the county but manager Donie Garrihy is adamant that they have the strength in depth to cope without any player.
“Anybody who’s on our squad is not coming along for the ride, he’s not coming along for the scenery going around the country and he’s not coming along to not have to pay to see Clare playing from the bench. The squad is there because they have been told for the last number of years that they are the elite players in our county and that’s why they’re there and they’ll be playing on Sunday”.
This Monday, six months after their Oscar Traynor success Clare were honoured for their exploits with a civic reception. It won’t have any effect positive or negative on Garrihy’s charges ffor Sunday’s game.
“Love me or hate me we don’t talk about it, we have never spoken about the 8th of May. I’ll reflect on something that was said on the 8th of May by Eoin O’Brien I’m going to quote him and you haven’t heard this before he said ‘thank God the monkey’s off our back that we won it again’, we’ve been listening for twelve years about that, people were always hammering us that we were never like the team that won it in 2004.
“We don’t ever speak about May the 8th and at training Tuesday and Thursday we didn’t speak about our civic reception on Monday night because we had to be professional about it, we were there to train and work out how to beat Roscommon, maybe after Sunday when we’re having a drink for Christmas we’ll speak about the civic reception but not during the week, we can’t take our eye off the ball”, the Doolin man told The Clare Herald.
Of Sunday’s opponents, Donie highlights the decision of the Roscommon District Football League to call off Premier Division games last weekend to allow the side to concentrate on defeating the reigning champions.
“They cancelled all their Premier games in their county last weekend in preparation for this coming Sunday, that tells you everything about how serious they are in doing the once over on us, they’re going to roll into Frank Healy Park all guns blazing and we have to try and quench that. We’re going to have to try and absorb some pressure for a while on Sunday and if we can absorb it without them penetrating us and them going one or two up on us, I have so much so confidence in any player that puts on a Clare jersey that’s in our group. I have so much confidence I cannot state it enough”.