Each year new players are successfully making the step-up to the Clare senior football panel much to the delight of manager Colm Collins.
2014 was Collins’ first season in charge of the seniors with Jamie Malone, Eoin Cleary and Ciarán Russell establishing themselves, one year later it was the turn of Kilmurry Ibrickane’s Keelan Sexton to adjust to the higher grade and last year Cian O’Dea and Pearse Lillis showed they were able to last the pace.
Time will tell who will be added to this list based on their 2017 exploits but Colm is keen once more to trial out new players. “There’s a couple of good young fellas out there and they’re working hard in training so we’re giving them a chance, we’ve other fellas on the panel aswell who didn’t get a chance and they’ll be getting opportunities in the coming games”.
They picked up their first win in Division 2 defeating Down by six points on Sunday. The Kilmihil native felt David Tubridy’s goal on the stroke of half-time secured the victory. “A lot of things to like about it, the game descended into a messy one in the second half but in the first half when it was there to play for we did very well, got some good scores and we put it to bed just before half-time with Tubs’ goal”.
“Second half was messy, we got the first three scores and after that lost our shape a little, a lot of sloppy stuff but the important thing is we got the two points”, he added.
In their two games to date Clare have created a bucket load of chances, there is scope to improve when it comes to finishing these opportunities but Colm maintains new coach Alan Flynn is to credit for their increased amount of shots on goal.
“We’ve a new coach this year Alan Flynn and he’s very positive, likes to play good football and it’s quite obvious there on the pitch, they do a good bit of work on that, we’re creating a lot of chances and maybe against Galway we’ll put them away”.
Collins also acknowledged the role of his backroom team in ensuring all members of the panel were fit and available for selection. “A tribute to our medical and strength and conditioning team, all thirty two players on the panel were available for selection today which is a tribute to the way they do business”.
It’s a two week break until they travel to Galway and the Banner boss is expecting the contest to show where exactly they are positioned. “Very stern test but that’s where we want to be, if you want to progress you’ve got to be playing against these better teams and Galway are Connacht champions and they’d be one of those so we’re looking forward to playing them”, he told Clare FM.