*Keelan Sexton. Photograph by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Clare trio Keelan Sexton, Pearse Lillis and Darragh Bohannon will line out with the UL side that commence their Sigerson Cup campaign at 7:30pm this evening.
Keelan joined the Clare senior football panel in 2015 at the age of eighteen, since then he has gone on to win a Division 3 National League title in 2016 and two Clare senior football championships with his club Kilmurry Ibrickane. Now his eyes are fixed on securing silverware with the University of Limerick.
Former Limerick U21 manager Declan Brouder has succeeded Brian Carson as UL boss, he has been joined in his management team by Tommy Stack, Brendan O’Keeffe and Eamon Myers. “They’re looking to bring us one step closer to crossing the line,” Sexton said to Jerome Quinn of the new additions at the launch of the higher education All-Ireland championships.
“Before the weekend was done away with, the boys got to the last two weekends and they got beaten in the semi-finals, we got to a quarter-final last year and unfortunately fell short. We were in the league final last year and the quarter final of the league this year. Really, it’s just to try get over the last hurdle for UL and get our first Sigerson title. The boys are just trying to get us that extra bit”.
UL face a DIT side that reached last year’s semi-final and includes Armagh’s Jamie Clarke and Brian Howard of Dublin. His Clare teammate Cian O’Dea and All-Ireland winning Limerick hurler, Gearoid Hegarty have two losses from last year’s team. However recent success at Freshers level plus the addition of some master students has helped their cause according to Keelan. “We’re happy with the group of players we have at the moment and management feel they’ve got the best we can get out of the college so we’re just looking forward to the coming competition”.
Having reached the quarter-finals in 2018, Keelan and his teammates are hopeful of going further this time round. They will have a second bite at the cherry if the result doesn’t go their way in Dublin with a backdoor tie against either UCC or Athlone IT. Keelan stated that the tight nature of the competition means anything is possible.
“There’s a flip of a coin between anyone and I know it’s a cliché but it’s on the day really that’s the great thing about Sigerson football, it really is an open competition and it sets up for a nice miracle”.