*Aidan Harte. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
FORMER GALWAY hurler, Aidan Harte is to join the management of the Clare U20s.
The Clare Echo understands that 2017 All-Ireland winning wing-back will replace Brendan Bugler as coach to the Terence Fahy managed side.
Harte has been coach to the Crusheen senior hurlers this season, guiding them to a first Clare SHC semi-final in four years after they defeated Newmarket-on-Fergus in Sunday’s quarter-final.
Since August 2018, Aidan has been teaching history and geography at St Joseph’s Tulla following stints in Edenderry and Ballinasloe.
During his time at the East Clare school, he has been involved with several hurling teams, most notably the 2022 side that were crowned Dr Harty Cup champions for the first time.
His addition to the management will see him link up with both Fahy and Tomás Kelly who were also part of the Harty Cup winning set-up.
Along with the 2017 All-Ireland success, Aidan won equivalent titles at minor (2005) and U21 (2007) with the Tribesmen. He was first added to the county senior panel in 2007 when Galway were managed by Feakle native Ger Loughnane. At senior level, he won Leinster championships in 2012, 2017 and 2018 plus National League medals in 2010, 2017 and 2021.
With his club Gort, Aidan won county championships in 2011 and 2014.
Fahy is expected to announce his finalised management team at the October meeting of the Clare County Board. The Whitegate man will be entering his third year in the role, this year Clare contested the Munster U20 final losing to Cork by two points in May while in 2022 Clare suffered one and two point losses respectively to Limerick and Cork which was insufficient to qualify from the Group stages.
Members of the Clare U20 management will be keeping a close eye on the upcoming U21 championship as they look to bolster their squad for next year. Players that were on this year’s panel and are eligible for the grade next year had been kept on a strength and conditioning programme in the aftermath of the Munster Final loss.
As referenced by Clare senior hurling manager, Brian Lohan this week, the upcoming campaign for Fahy and his management will be an interesting one given that the side at minor level suffered a 6-28 0-6 defeat to Cork in July 2021.
“Terence has a big job next year, that’s the team that wouldn’t have been that competitive against Cork going back so it is a big job that he has to do there at U20 level but everyone is putting their shoulder to the wheel and trying to get the best that we can,” Lohan said this week.