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Feakle appoint Bodyke’s Kelleher as senior manager

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*Feakle’s Eric Conway. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Feakle will have a new management of their senior hurlers for 2021 while their outgoing manager has been appointed St Josephs Doora/Barefield boss.

Bodyke man P. J. Kelleher will manage neighbours Feakle taking over from Michael Guilfoyle. He will be joined by Feakle’s Henry Hayes and Raymond Nelson with Limerick man Tomás Downes from the Na Piarsaigh will share the coaching duties with the manager.

P.J. played at all grades for Bodyke before taking charge of the club’s adult team for a spell. He also lined out at intermediate level for Clare and previously served as a selector with the county’s minor hurlers.

Speaking to The Clare Echo this week, Kelleher outlined that he was hopeful to add members of the Feakle/Killanena minor panel which contested the Minor A final last year to the senior squad. “Two of the players are recovering from injuries which saw them miss out on last season. We hope that Con Smith and Fiachra Donnellan will be available at some stage of the season. There are some good players coming through from the minor ranks which will be a good addition to the squad”.

“It’s a big challenge not knowing what competitions will be run and what format the championship will take. If the format is the same as last year, the first game will be huge. We cannot meet up at present due to the level 5 lockdown”, the manager said.

Winners of the 2018 intermediate championship, Feakle reached the quarter-finals of the Clare SHC last season where they exited at the hands of Éire Óg with five points separating the teams at the final whistle.

Having stepped down as Feakle manager, Michael Guilfoyle has now taken on the role in charge of St Josephs Doora/Barefield whom he had been heavily involved with at underage level. They were relegated to the intermediate ranks in 2018.

Guilfoyle succeeds Clare great Seánie McMahon and is joined by 2018 All-Ireland winner Shane Dowling in his management. It will be the Limerick man’s first foray into coaching at adult level. Dowling’s Na Piarsaigh clubmate Darragh Droog will be the side’s strength and conditioning coach combining his role with the Limerick U20 hurlers. The Parish’s set-up is completed with Vinnie Sheedy as selector

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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