EXPERIENCED CLARE defenders, Sean Collins and Kevin Harnett are highly unlikely to see action in this year’s Allianz National Football League.
Clare boss, Colm Collins told The Clare Echo that the long-serving pair of Seán Collins and Kevin Harnett are dealing with long-term injuries and are currently not in management’s plans as they sit in fourth position in the Allianz NFL Division 2 table with four points from three games.
In their absence, Éire Óg’s Manus Doherty has been handed a corner-back berth in his debut season with Cillian Rouine of Ennistymon and St Breckans’ Alan Sweeney receiving starting jerseys for all of their League encounters to date. Clare SFC winner Ronan Lanigan and Daniel Walsh of Kilmurry Ibrickane are also pushing for a place in the backline.
Kilmihil native, Colm indicated that Collins and Harnett along with Kilmurry Ibrickane’s Dermot Coughlan who has been dogged with ankle and knee injuries plus Darragh Bohannon are on course to be back in the mix come championship when Clare face Limerick in the Munster SFC quarter-final on April 30th.
“We still have a few that are out, Sean and Kevin probably won’t see league time, Darragh Bohannon is a long-term injury, Dermot Coughlan is also a long-term injury, we’d hopefully get them back for championship all going well,” he stated.
Securing a draw in Dr Hyde Park was a satisfactory outcome for the Banner boss. “I thought we did very well in the first half against the elements, we were in a really good position at half-time going in a point down. The wind was so strong, it was just as hard to play with it as against it, at the end of the day I think a point was a fair result, there’s plenty of points on offer in this Division yet, we’ve to go after them and that’s it”.
Different game plans had to be implemented in order to deal with the severe winds in Roscommon, he admitted. “Keep the ball and not give it away handy, that was the plan in the first half. In these kind of conditions, you would need two game plans, thankfully the game went ahead, credit to Roscommon the pitch was in great nick”.
Derry travel to Cusack Park this coming Sunday, the first League meeting between the sides since Clare emerged with a draw in the North in their 2017 clash.
To date, he has been quite pleased with the showing of the men in saffron and blue. “We’re very happy with the bunch of players we have and we think we’re a match for anybody, we just go after the points in our Division. It’s a very competitive Division, there’s very little between all the teams, we’re battle-hardened”.