*Sean Collins is this year’s captain for Cratloe. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Since they made the breakthrough when winning the title for the first time in 2013, Cratloe have challenged strongly for both senior football and hurling honours each season with almost the same group of players.
Having failed to make the knockout stages of last year’s race for Jack Daly, there will be added determination within the Cratloe ranks to atone for that disappointment.
With a first round hurling win under their belts they begin their challenge for football honours when they take on St. Josephs Doora/Barefield at Shannon this Saturday.
Colm Collins continues at the helm and as he puts the final touches to preparations for another campaign he says, “there is not a whole lot between the teams in the group and we know it is important to get a few points on the board as quickly as possible. We will be taking it one game at a time and see how we will get on”.
They finished their league campaign well, winning the Division 3 title. “We eventually got a lot of our team together for the closing rounds but we must remember it was Division 3”, he told The Clare Echo.
Collins who completed his ninth season in charge of the Clare senior footballers confirmed that they have no injuries to contend with this weekend. “We hope to have a full hand from which to pick out team at the weekend”.
With regard to the fact that the majority of the players also play hurling the football manager says “it’s a matter of managing this and making sure to keep the players fit and healthy. We have ten or twelve players who play both codes”.
Round two will see Colm face off against his native Kilmihil while the third round will see them do battle with Lissycasey who are managed by John Ryan who lives in Cratloe.
This year, their panel is strengthened by the addition of Tommy Rooney, a producer with Off The Ball and presenter of the popular The Football Pod who transferred from Meath Hill in Co Meath.
Management: Colm Collins (manager) Sean O’Dea, Brian O’Connell, Shane Markham, Oscar O’Dwyer (S&C)
Captain: Sean Collins
Key Player: Cathal McInerney
One to Watch: Tommy Rooney
Fresh Blood: Tommy Rooney
Departure Gate: None
Titles won: 2 (2013 and 2014)
Last season’s run: Finished fourth in the group of five and failed to qualify for the play off stage of the competition.
Round 1 v St. Josephs Doora/Barefield
Round 2 v Kilmihil
Round 3 v Lissycasey