*Doora/Barefield’s Alan Killeen races with Michael Cusacks’ Tadhg Geoghegan. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
Two years ago, following a motion to county convention, Clare GAA decided to reduce the number of senior football teams from sixteen to twelve and St Josephs Doora/Barefield were one of the teams to make the drop as a result.
Last year they got to the intermediate championship semi-final where they lost out to eventual winners St. Breckans. From the outset this year their aim has been to win back senior status and they are now just one step away from achieving that target.
Managed by Kevin Frehill, their back room team includes Mike Millane, Donagh Vaughan and Morgan Rowland while they are captained by Eoin Hanrahan, son of Doonbeg native Pat who was a member of Clare’s senior selection committee when the county won the Provincial senior championship in 1992
“It’s been a difficult year with Covid and a number of players didn’t commit due to the pandemic and the tight time frame for the running off of the various championships”, selector Mike Millane said this week.
There are a number of dual players involved but not as many as in previous years. Amongst the dual players who are part of the football panel are the Hannan twins, Tom and Jack, Darragh O’Shea, Peter Collins. Eoghan Thynne and Donal O’Halloran.
Millane who is a member of the teaching staff at Ennis CBS outlined, “We are under no illusions about the massive task we are facing against Corofin. They have a lot of serious talent”.
The Doora-Barefield selector admits that “the club has been strong at minor level for the past few years. There are a number of players involved that have won championships at under 14, under 16 and minor A levels. We are still in this year’s minor A championship and we have two minors involved with the intermediate side in Alan Killeen and Dara O’Callaghan”.
The clubs clashed in a league fixture last season but Millane doesn’t place any emphasis on that. “It was at the end of the league and there will be much changed teams in opposition this week. We have a relatively young panel and many are under 25. They are hitting the right age to compete at this level”.
“There are a couple of niggles but we expect to have a full panel to call on come the final. We are keen to get back to senior ranks but we know we face a difficult challenge”, he concluded.