Austin Stack Park in Tralee is where the Clare senior footballers will play their first competitive game of 2023 when they will take on the All-Ireland champions in the McGrath cup on this Sunday (throw in at 2p.m.).

As is the norm at this time of the year, the various managements will avail of the opportunity to introduce players to this level so it’s safe to say that there will be a number of debutants when Clare take to the pitch for Sunday’s fixture. The team to face Kerry will be finalised later this week

A number of players are ruled out this week due to injury and these include Cillian and Brendy Rouine, Eoghan Collins and Ciaran Russell.

Cillian Rouine missed the concluding stages of the under 21 championship which Ennistymon won. He had struggled with an ankle injury for much of the season. His brother Brendy was one of the stars of the Ennistymon success but he picked up a few knocks along the way.

Ciaran Russell was a key player as Eire Og retained the Clare senior football title delivering many outstanding displays despite struggling with a leg injury.

A number of regulars from recent seasons will not be involved this season. David Tubridy, a key member of the squad for the past fifteen seasons, announced his retirement from inter county football last week, a few weeks after Kevin Harnett and Sean Collins had stepped away from the inter county scene. Goalkeeper Tristan O’Callaghan and defender Conor Jordan have withdrawn from the panel for 2023 because of travel.

Amongst the newcomers to the panel who are expected to see game time in the McGrath cup are Darren Nagle (Liscannor), Shane Griffin (Lissycasey) and Cathal Downes(O’Currys).

All-Ireland champions Kerry are expected to field without the majority of their championship winning side this week. Many of their players will be concentrating on the club championships with Kerins O’Rahillys (senior), Rathmore(intermediate) and Fossa(junior) all facing All-Ireland semi-final gzamesin the coming week

Kerry got their McGrath cup campaign underway last evening (Wednesday) when they played Cork who will be Clare’s opponents on Sunday week at Cooraclare.

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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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