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Collins to continue as Clare boss for 2021

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Colm Collins is to continue as county senior football team manager for 2021.

There was much concern throughout the county in recent weeks that Collins might not continue in the position.

Confirmation that he will continue at the helm means that he is the longest serving inter-county football manager with the one county at senior level in the game at present

During his eight years in charge, the Kilmihil native has steered Clare from Division 4 to Division 2 in the Allianz League where they have remained for the past three years. Under his leadership Clare have put in some impressive performances in the championship getting to the All-Ireland quarter final in 2016 where they lost to Kerry.

There was disappointment in 2020 when the team lost out to eventual Munster champions Tipperary in the provincial quarter final which was played in Thurles. That loss came six days after they had completed their league programme by retaining their division 2 status for 2021.

Team coach, Brian Carson will not be involved with the side this year, The Clare Echo has learned. The UL lecturer who is a native of Dublin replaced Galway’s Alan Flynn as the team’s coach in December 2018.

Rob Mulcahy (strength and conditioning), along with selectors Declan Downes (Kilmihil), Enda Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane) and All-Ireland winning Kerry goalkeeper Declan O’Keeffe will be continuing in their roles.

St. Josephs Miltown clubman Gordon Kelly, ever present throughout Collins’ reign as manager, called time on his inter county career at the end of the 2020 season.

Newcomers expected to feature in the 2021 panel include Daniel Walsh (Kilmurry-Ibrickane), Aaron Griffin (Lissycasey) and Dara Conneally (Ennistymon)

During his time as Clare manager, Collins has managed the Cratloe club senior side leading them to county honours in 2013 and 2014 while they were defeated finalists in 2020.

While senior inter county training is not allowed at present under level 5 lockdown, it is understood that panellists are, individually, following a strength and conditioning programme under Rob Mulcahy.

Seamus Hayes is one of the most well-respected local sports journalists in the country. For close to fifty years, the Lissycasey native was Sports Editor of The Clare Champion. Subsequent to his departure from Barrack St, he began writing for publications including The Clare Echo, The Clare People and The Irish Daily Star. He has won multiple awards during his distinguished career including accolades for GAA, Community Games and Camogie coverage.

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