*Cian Broderick will be between the posts for Clarecastle. Photograph: Chris Copley
Clarecastle are determined to be more competitive in the senior ranks and the eleven time champions are hopeful their young guns will make a mark in the 2021 championship.
Management: Brian Russell (manager), Shane Mullane (coach), Eric Flynn, Colin Higgins, James McMahon, Cian Galvin
Captain: Bobby Duggan
Key Player: Bobby Duggan
One To Watch: Killian McDermott
Fresh Blood: Rory O’Connell, Dylan Browne, Kevin Hartigan
Departures Gate: Jonathan Clancy, Jamie Coughlan
SHC titles won: 11
Most Recent SHC title: 2005
Round 1 v Sixmilebridge (August 13th)
Round 2 v Scariff (September 4th/5th)
Round 3 v Wolfe Tones (September 18th/19th)
Throughout the past decade Jonathan Clancy has been a key figure for the Clarecastle senior hurlers but they will face into the 2021 race for the Canon Hamilton trophy without the diminutive midfielder who has called time on his playing career.
In addition they are facing into this campaign without one of the brightest young hurlers in Clare in Cian Galvin who is out for the season due to a leg injury while another who has given great service to the club, goalkeeper Jamie Coughlan, has retired. Galvin has been drafted into the backroom team by the manager
The loss of these players is a blow to the Magpies and their management team headed up by Brian Russell who is in his first season in the role with the senior team.
“We are trying to progress the young lads through, trying to improve our recent record and be more competitive than we have been. We realise the challenge in front of us and we are working as hard as we can to get better”, manager Brian told The Clare Echo.
“We are in a group with the county champions and the intermediate champions as well as a Wolfe Tones team with a good mix of youth and experience and we are taking nothing for granted”, according to Russell whose family are steeped in Clarecastle GAA.
According to the Magpies manager, “we can’t hide from the results of the last few years. It is our hope to be more competitive this year”. He acknowledged that his side are facing a huge task against the title holders in the opening round.
“If you take your eyes off the ‘Bridge you will be turned upside down quickly. They are well coached and they have a fine selection of players, They have won this title five times in the last eight years. We have it all to do”.
Apart from those already mentioned, Clarecastle hope to have the remaining members of the panel available for selection. Experience is provided by Patrick Kelly and Stephen O’Halloran, both of whom have been part of Clare panels in recent times while team captain Bobby Duggan has also worn the saffron and blue of Clare at a number of levels.
Cian Broderick (goalkeeper) and defender Darragh Healy were members of the Clare under 20 team this season and they are among a number of young players making their mark in the senior grade for the club.