*John Carmody. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

When the Clare senior camogie panel came together at the end of last year to plan for 2024, the opening round in this season’s All-Ireland senior championship was given special attention.

“When we assembled we knew that because of retirements and with a number of players not committing to the panel this year, we would be building a new team almost from scratch. That being the case, we set this game as a target. It’s the first game in a five game round robin series and a win is vital as we target an All-Ireland quarter final place”, team manager John Carmody explained.

Saturday’s game which throws in at 2p.m. at Cusack Park, is the opening round in this season’s All-Ireland championship and the first of five games which will be played over six weeks.

In round two on Saturday week, Clare will travel to play Dublin and follow that with a home tie against Cork. After a one week break it will be an away game against Galway before concluding with a home tie against Wexford.

Clare last played Down in the opening round last year, a game that took place at the Leitrim Fontenoys club. “It was a huge contest, a humdinger of a game. We were five points in arrears with eight minutes remaining and we ended up winning by five, thanks to a strong finish. They are a formidable outfit and we will give them every respect”, manager Carmody told The Clare Echo this week.

“We have focussed on our own preparation and the girls have put in a huge performance preparing for this campaign. We expect a big performance from the players and I appeal to our supporters to turn out in big numbers and support the team. Hurling is on a high in general in the county at this time and our girls are playing a good brand of hurling”, the Kilmaley man said.

Clare will again be without Lorna McNamara who is ruled out with a long-term injury but they will have Truagh/Clonlara’s Laura Foley and Roisin Begley in the side. They missed much of the league campaign due to their hockey commitments with Limerick club Catholic Institute. Their availability should certainly strengthen the side.

According to the manager “a win is a must and we hope to be able to put ourselves in a position to be chasing an all-Ireland quarter final place when we play Wexford in our final group game in a few weeks time”.

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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.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

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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