*Clondegad captain, Gary Brennan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Absent from the knockout stages of the Clare senior football championship for the past two seasons, a new drive exists within Clondegad that can help propel them forward.
Management: Flan Enright (manager), Kevin Walsh (coach) Mark Quinn, Bernie Gavin, (Backroom: Benny Duggan, Aidan Cahill, Kevin Tighe);
Captain: Gary Brennan
Key Player: Gary Brennan
One To Watch: Evan Wall
Fresh Blood: Eoin Gavin, Evan Wall,
Players Gone: None
Titles Won: None
Most Recent Title: None
“The championship is what teams train for, especially in a year like this. We haven’t gone well in the last two but there is a new drive there again”.
That’s according to Clondegad manager Flan Enright who, after a sterling career as a leading light in the side, has taken on the responsibility of managing the side and is now in his second season in this role.
“In fairness, the lads are easy to motivate. It’s been week to week this year and it’s been busy since the season started”, the manager told The Clare Echo this week. Enright agrees that managing a team with so many dual players “is difficult but all sides work together. You have to have respect for the dual players and we must try and keep them as fresh as possible”
The Clondegad boss believes that “this group looks to be very evenly matched. There is no team that you can take for granted. Our opponents in the first round, Doonbeg, are a team well decorated with titles and they are always up for the championship. Everything we have been doing is geared for this game and no one in our camp is looking past this first round game”.
Dual players such as Tony Kelly and Paul Flanagan didn’t play football last season as they concentrated on hurling with their club Ballyea and it’s likely that this will be the case again this year, at least for the early stages of the championship.
Brian and James Murphy, the Brennan brothers, Gary, who is the team captain, Cillian and Shane, Podge McMahon and Conor Gavin are players the Ballynacally based outfit will be looking to to get them over the line against a Doonbeg side that failed to achieve a victory in the recent Cusack Cup.
Clondegad will carry the favourites tag but they know that come championship time, one of the most difficult opponents for any team are the Magpies and if victory is to be achieved, Clondegad will have to be at their best.