*Corofin manager, Douglas Hurley. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
Corofin intermediate football manager Douglas Hurley readily admits that the team’s target all year has been to “go one step further than last year”.
Victory over Kildysart in Saturday’s final at Cusack park will see that target achieved but Douglas and his fellow mentors know that nothing comes easy and that it will take a big effort to get over the line.
Corofin were tipped by many to win this title last year but St. Josephs Doora/Barefield proved too strong on the day.
After a number of years involved with the club minors during which time he helped steer teams to U16A and minor A finals, Hurley stepped up to the adult team manager’s role this season.
“We are coming up against a very strong Kildysart team, a team that has progressed a lot in the last 12 months. They are well used to getting to this stage; they are well equipped to play at senior level as we are also. We have yo yo’d up and down in the last few years”, he told The Clare Echo this week.
“Kildysart have competed in the league a division above us all year and they have been well able to compete in divisions above what we have been playing in”, according to the Corofin manager who has a couple of injury worries ahead of Saturday’s eagerly awaited final.
Wing backs Shay Malone (ankle) and Colm Rice “haven’t trained since the semi-final” and a final decision on their fitness is not expected until nearer match time. The Corofin boss admitted, “we hadn’t intended playing Jamie Malone in the semi-final as he was out of action for six months. He is getting back but he is still a bit off where he would want to be. It was good to get an hour’s play into him in the semi-final”.
Malone probably would not have started in the semi-final had Cilléin Mullins been available. Mullins has been the team’s full back but he is a Crusheen clubman and didn’t play in the semi-final as his home club had a crucial senior hurling relegation game on the following day. They have another relegation game this week and it remains to be seen if he will get to play any part in the football final.
The teams met twice last year with Kildysart winning the first meeting by a point while Corofin turned the tables when they clashed in the semi-final.
As Corofin put the finishing touches to their preparations this week, the Director with DNG O’Sullivan Hurley is “hoping that we don’t get weather conditions like we had last weekend”.
Kelleher’s backroom team includes Geoff O’Sullivan, Peadar O’Brien. Vincent McCarthy, Eoin Keane and Donnacda Kelleher who is also part of the panel. The team is captained by Fionn Clancy. Corofin last won this title in 2015 when they beat Kilmihil in the final.