*Donie Garrihy. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARE BEGIN their Oscar Traynor campaign this Wednesday evening in Jackman Park against the Limerick District League and the ethos of returning Banner boss Donie Garrihy is quite simple.

Doolin’s Donie returned as manager of the county side having previously led them to back to back titles in 2015 and 2016.

A first get-together of the squad and management took place in Frank Healy Park on Wednesday night.

Garrihy is joined on his management team by Denis Hynes, Barry Ryan, Aaron Ryan, Robert Clancy and John Earls (physical therapist).

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Donie said “I’m happy with the squad I’ve assembled”. Eoin Hayes, Daragh Corry and John Mulready have worked with Garrihy before but apart from that, it is a completely new-look squad.

He said, “I named the squad, I followed the same with what I did in 2015 and 2016, I talked to a few managers and people in the know, I named the squad and I’ll see who comes along, we’re playing out of a league that has the FAI champions in Newmarket Celtic which is a plus straight away, not far away from them is Avenue and that’s another plus, I’ve been very impressed with Bridge Utd and their coaching, then there’s one or two players dotted all over the league, I hope they can gel together”.

Pitted in a group of three, Clare are in action for the opening rounds (October 18th and November 11th). “To play inter county football you know will know coming off the pitch what type of player you are, if you want to know what footballers you are play in the Jackman Park, we will know what type of a team we have after that game, Limerick District League are probably the best in the business, we’ll see where we go but I am looking for a result. I’m glad it is coming along fast because I hate long run-ins”.

Explaining his rationale for conducting “a mini-camp” prior to next week’s outing, he said they will run it akin to an international camp. “We will bring the players in and make them familiar with us and the management, it’s a small league and everyone knows who is who, the players know the manager, the coaches and where best pitches are, they know who plays with Limerick and their best players, it won’t be nothing new. Let’s have a go on Weds night, I am really looking forward to the challenge, I don’t want scooby doo football, I don’t want to be playing shit teams, I want to play proper teams and see can we cut the mustard”.

Missing a competitive edge enticed him to the role after an approach was made by CDSL Chair, Jason Ryan. “I missed the competition, I was out of gaelic football for eight months, I felt I needed to do something, I’m emotionally attached with St Breckans, I was with them for four years and 365 days a year not 364 days a year, it was an amazing transformation going from an AGM in 2018 talking about amalgamating with another junior team in North Clare to a county final in 2023, it shows what you can do if you work at something.

“We will work hard at the Oscar Traynor, I’m a firm believer that the definition of genius is hard work, roll your sleeves up, work hard and shut up just work hard. Watch the Newmarket Celtic boys, they worked hard last year, they worked their socks off, that is the way Paddy was and is with them, shut up and work hard, it is what St Breckans have done for last five years and they have always been humble”.

That the Oscar Traynor returns for the first time since 2019 poses questions on whether will regain the respect it once had. “I haven’t thought about it, I’m not ducking the question. I love the competition and I loved playing it, the Avenue, Newtown, Newmarket and Bridge boys loved playing in the competition. I do hope it gets back its characters, there was great characters, Gerry Davis is over the Irish amateur side, he managed AUL to the title for a couple of years in a row, he earned his stripes there with AUL, then he became international manager and he has done a good job. On the back of our Oscar Traynor wins in 2015 and 2016, Stephen Kelly and Eoin Hayes both became junior international players of the year, Eoin has got thirty international caps since, as Mairead Healy would say back in Lisdoon ‘Hello’,” Donie concluded.

Oscar Traynor Squad:

Newmarket Celtic:

Eoin Hayes
Harvey Cullinan
Jack Kelly
Aaron Rudd
Ethan Fitzgerald
Nathan Boaventura

Avenue United:

Luke Woodrow
Nnabuike Nneji
Elias Kunz
Cullen McCabe
Conor Hehir
Thomas Hehir
Witness

Kilrush Rangers:

Jamie Griffin
Kiril Atunov

Tulla United:

Daragh Corry

Shannon Town:

Kieran Hackett
James Fahy
Daithi Lohan
Jack Ryan

Moher Celtic:

Tom Hanrahan
Joe Hanrahan

Bridge United:

John Mulready
Lee Mulready
Liam Buckley

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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