*Stiofan McMahon will be a chief scoring threat for Broadford. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

In their first season back in the senior ranks, Broadford advanced to a quarter-final stage, paired off with Ballyea, Cratloe and Crusheen the task of returning to the knockout stages is made more difficult this time round.

Management: Jimmy Browne (Manager), Kieran Corcoran (coach), Aonghus O’Brien (coach), Kevin Ryan(selector);
Captain: Diarmuid Moloney
Key Player: Stiofan McMahon
One To Watch: Darragh Whelan
Fresh Blood: Oisin Kavanagh
Departures Gate: Diarmuid Whelan (transferred), Donie Whelan (transferred), Sean Phelan (injured), Niall Moloney, Kieran O’Connell
SHC titles won: None
Most Recent SHC title: None
Group Fixtures:
Round 1 v Ballyea (August 15th)
Round 2 v Cratloe (September 4th/5th)
Round 3 v Crusheen (September 18th/19th)

Broadford manager, Jimmy Browne guided the East Clare side to the quarter-finals last season. He maintained that the clubs with smaller panels will have more obstacles in this year’s campaign.

“Clubs with tight panels will face a lot of challenges this year. The route to a quarter final this year is much trickier than it was last year. Last year’s shortened format was such that teams could peak for a game. It’s hard to compare last year’s route to this year’s. The critical game this year is the first game, Last year’s first round didn’t really have any impact,” he outlined.

An experienced hurling coach, Browne has been involved with numerous Clare teams as well as managing the LIT Fitzgibbon Cup side and Limerick club outfits. The Clonlara native admits that Broadford are hoping to build on last year. “We played well against the Mills and then Clonlara. This year we are facing a really difficult challenge. The first game is critical and the games come rapidly after that. Clubs with large panels will do well in this type of format. Those of us with tight panels will face some challenges if we pick up small knocks”.

Most of the East Clare club panel have a clean bill of health at this time. “We have had a tough training and challenge game schedule. Sean Phelan and Darren McNamara are out due to long term injuries.

With Ballyea in the opening round, Broadford will have to focus on limiting the influence of Tony Kelly. “Tony is arguably the best hurler we have ever produced in Clare. He is a hugely influential player and a big leader for his club. They have strength and depth in their panel. We will focus on our strengths and hopefully we can challenge them,” Browne stated.

He added, “It’s all about performance. That’s the mantra every day and to control what we can control as a group, give our all and be able to say we have given our best performance. Ballyea is a club that has provided a blueprint for Broadford in terms of what they have done on the field and in terms of facilities provided”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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