*Michael Guilfoyle. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
REGAINING SENIOR STATUS is essential for St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield’s hurlers according to their manager, Michael Guilfoyle.
There is scarcely a weekend that the Feakle native is not in a GAA pitch across the county or province such is his interest in hurling. In recent years he has managed his native Feakle and now his adopted parish and he is very well versed on what is required to achieve success at county level. He was adamant Doora/Barefield “need to get back to senior status to elevate the status of the club”
“While our county representation is not huge at the present, there are a lot of players coming through. Currently we have three teams in adult county finals. We are after winning the junior A title and they will be stepping up to intermediate level next year when, hopefully, we will have two teams competing at junior C. Numbers are not a problem but we want to make sure we will bring them through”, Guilfoyle who played at all levels for Clare added.
Teams representing St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield suffered narrow defeats in the junior C premier (to Sixmilebridge) and minor A (to Clooney/Quin after extra time) finals in recent weeks and many of those players will be challenging for places in the coming seasons
The club also competes in football competition at all levels. “In senior football this year we were involved at the preliminary quarter final stage in the championship. Guys were going for twelve weeks constantly which is draining on the players and it’s a huge challenge. In addition there were nine hurling and football league games. With such a high game count injuries are an issue”, Guilfoyle told the Clare Echo, adding that “it was very disappointing last year and right now we are back to where we were last year”.
On Saturday, The Parish are “facing an experienced club which won the county senior title as recently as 2007 and some of the players in their panel this year have senior championship medals”, explained Michael. He added “we have a lot of experience in our squad, we have players who have won under 21 championship medals with Clare while the experience of last year is huge”.
Conor Tierney is out of Saturday’s final due to medial ligament damage while there are doubts about Eoin Hanrahan and Jarlath Colleran who will undergo fitness tests before the weekend to determine if they can play a part.
“I have seen Tulla in two of their games. They hadn’t great first halves but they brought it together in the second half. They are a tough East Clare team and we won’t be taking anything for granted. They suffered one defeat in the group stage and so did we. This is the final game of the championship and its winner take all. We will be giving it everything and hopefully it will help us get over the line”, he concluded.