*Dermot Mahony, Derry O’Donohue, TJ Carey, Dermot Coughlan, Joe Hayes, Peter O’Dwyer, Pat McMahon, Martin Cahill and Derek Morris. 

Clare will begin their challenge for Munster minor football honours at Páirc Naomh Mhuire in Quilty on Tuesday evening next when they entertain Waterford (throw in at 7p.m.).

Team manager Dermot Coughlan from the host club heads up a management team which includes Lissycasy’s Joe Hayes (coach), Banner’s Pat McMahon (coach), Liscannor’s T.J. Carey (selector), Kilmurry Ibrickane’s Martin Cahill (selector), Kilrush Shamrocks’ Dermot O’Mahoney (selector), Kilmurry Ibrickane’s Peter O’Dwyer (goalkeeping coach), Derry O’Donoghue (video analysis), and Derrick Morris (S&C coach).

Former Clare goalkeeper Hayes was part of Colm Collins’ senior management in his final season in charge, last year.

Tuesday’s game will be the first of three on successive Tuesdays in phase one of the competition. In round two on April 9th Clare will travel to Rathkeale to play Limerick while a week later it will be back to Quilty to face Tipperary. The top two after the round robin games will contest the phase 1 final with the winners of that going into the provincial semi-final.

“This year there is a change in format with the provincial finalists (8 teams) forming tier 1. The new tiered system will see Munster with one team in tier two and this will be the winner of phase 1. The proposal to introduce the tiered competition was well supported by the counties. It provides extra games and it’s all about development”, Clare manager Coughlan explained.

The tiered All-Ireland series will be over an eight-week period from mid May to the start of July. Tier 2 will take place between May 25 and June 15 while tier 3 will run from May 18 to June 8.

Clare have been working hard since the beginning of the year in preparation for this campaign. The squad includes eight players that played in the Munster championship last year. They are Eoin Byrne (St. Breckan’s), Aaron Killeen, Conor Hill, Diarmuid McMahon (all Lissycasey), Diarmuid Boyle, the team captain from Doora/Barefield; Dara Townsend, Shane O’Connell (both Cooraclare) and David Cahill (Clooney/Quin).

Clare minor football captain Diarmuid Boyle.

Ruled out for Tuesday’s fixture due to injury are Brian Keane (O’Currys), Niall Doyle (Éire Óg) and Euan Wragg (Lissycasey) while a final decision on the fitness of Lissycasey’s Aidan Weaver won’t be made until nearer match time. He picked up an injury in a schools game recently.

As part of their preparations Clare have played challenge games against Sligo, Leitrim, Westmeath, Laois and Meath.

“The aim is to get out of the group and into the Munster semi-final, something we didn’t achieve last year. Our loss to Limerick in a tie played at Miltown proved costly. The lads have been working hard and we have played a lot of quality games,” Dermot added.

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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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