*Donie Garrihy. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
DONIE GARRIHY is making a return to management and will take charge of the Clare Oscar Traynor team, The Clare Echo has learned.
Clare has won the national title on three occasions and for two of these, the side was managed by Doolin native Donie for their success in 2016 and 2017.
Officials in the Clare District Soccer League had initially struggled to fill the vacancy for the role when the FAI announced the competition would return this season. The competition which dates back to 1963, returns for the first time since the 2019/20 season and sees Junior Leagues affiliated to the FAI submit representative league teams to participate in the competition.
Chairperson of the CDSL, Jason Ryan approached Garrihy on Tuesday last to gauge his interest in the post.
At The Temple Gate Hotel on Thursday night, Donie met with CDSL officials where he was later offered the position, one in which he accepted.
Garrihy has been appointed for a two year term with the option of a third. The Clare Echo understands that he is joined on his management team by former League of Ireland goalkeeper, Barry Ryan, FAI football development officer Denis Hynes, strength and conditioning coach Aaron Ryan, Kilrush stalwart Robert Clancy and physical therapist, John Earls.
Since stepping down as Clare manager, Donie guided St Breckan’s back to the ranks of the Clare SFC after winning the intermediate title in 2019 and contesting the Munster club final that year. The North Clare club reached back to back senior semi-finals in 2020 and 2021 before bowing out at the quarter-finals last season.
Speaking to The Clare Echo, CDSL Chairman Ryan confirmed that Garrihy had been appointed. “It is a welcome appointment, it is good news. We approached Donie and he was keen about it, he has guided the county to two previous titles so we felt it was important, we had some interested in it but we wanted to get a manager who wasn’t involved with any club teams at present”.
Kilrush native Jason is hopeful all players approached within the CDSL will be eager to represent their county. “All we can ask is that everyone answers the call when they get it and we get a good squad together, we’re delighted to have Donie and his team”.
Thus far, 21 teams have entered in the 2023/24 Oscar Traynor competition, from October to January the competition will be run on a provincial basis, six of the 21 teams are from Munster. The All-Ireland quarter-finals are scheduled to take place in February.
Meanwhile, Dean Russell and Patrick Twomey have been appointed as joint managers of the Clare Youths team. The duo worked together in charge of Bunratty Cratloe FC in recent seasons. “We wish both managements well in their respective competitions,” Ryan added.
The FAI Youth Inter-League Cup is also set to return for the 2023/24 following victory for the Cork Youth Leagues in the 2022/23 addition of the competition. The competition will follow the same timeline as the Oscar Traynor Cup with a provincial phase before progressing to the national competition. Details will be shared with applicable leagues with the deadline set as Sunday, September 10th.