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*Jamie Shanahan is joint captain for Sixmilebridge this season. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

While there is much talk amongst hurling followers across the county as to whether or not Sixmilebridge can make history and win a third senior championship title in a row for the first time in their history, the champions’ manager Tim Crowe says they are not looking past the opening round.

Management: Tim Crowe (manager), Davy Fitzgerald (coach), Paddy Meehan (selector); Timmy Crowe (trainer) Pat Bennett (asst. coach), Martin Conlon (asst. coach), Noel Considine (goalkeeping coach),
Joint Captains: Jamie Shanahan and Cathal Malone
Key Player: Cathal Malone
One To Watch: Leon Kelly
Fresh Blood: Sean McNamara, Christy Carey, Jordan and Dylan Downes, Leon Kelly
Departures Gate: Kevin Lynch, Rory Shanahan, Cathal Lynch
SHC titles won: 15
Most Recent SHC title: 2020
Group Fixtures:
Round 1 v Clarecastle (August 13th)
Round 2 v Wolfe Tones (September 4th/5th)
Round 3 v Scariff (September 18th/19th)

“We are focussed on our opening game against Clarecastle. A vital component of any championship preparation is to respect the opposition, We will take it step by step”, he told the Clare Echo this week.

Continuing he said “it’s almost impossible to achieve three in a row. Sixmilebridge and St. Josephs failed to achieve that when they were winning All-Ireland club titles. We are trying to win the Canon Hamilton this year. We want to win that trophy and that is our approach. We won’t be discussing anything about 3 in a row as it’s not relevant to our preparation, such talk is probably more in the minds of our opponents. Our focus will be on the first round. We will be facing each round with the same approach. Our opponents will deserve that. If you respect the opposition you raise the game to take them on”, according to the former international athlete.

He went on to explain that the squad didn’t go back into training too early this year. “Because we won last year, we needed to give them time to recover, we didn’t go back too early. We approached the Clare Cup as part of the preparation. Timing of one’s run is a crucial part and hopefully we have got the timing right”.

The medal presentation for last year’s championship victory took place last week. “The medal presentation draws a curtain on last year and we have fulfilled the honour of last year before this year’s campaign starts. We are really in championship mode for Clarecastle”.

Joint captain Cathal Malone is out of contention for the first round. He missed the first outing for his native Ennistymon in the Clare SFC due to a broken finger which he played through for Clare’s final championship clash with Cork this season.

The champions have a new addition to their backroom team this year in Waterford man Pat Bennett whose three sons have been outstanding in Waterford’s progress to tshe semi-final in this season’s All-Ireland senior championship.

Noel Considine continues as part of their backroom team and this week finds himself involved against his home club.

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