*Michael Browne. Photograph: Sport Action Photography

CRUSHEEN mentor and former Clare selector Michael Browne can’t wait for Sunday’s Munster final.

An experienced coach who has steered both Tulla and Crusheen to Clare senior hurling titles he believes the outcome of Sunday’s Munster final “is a tough one to call”.

That said he says “there is something a bit different about Clare this year. In the last few years they have been playing really well but when the real pressure came on things didn’t seem to work out right but there is a different air about them this year”.

Continuing he said “they have been scraping through games they were winning easily last year but they have been getting that little bit of luck which was escaping us in the past and you don’t win anything with it”.

Michael agrees that “Limerick are an excellent team but so are Clare and that is due to the work the management team did over the winter months. That work has strengthened the squad as seen with the arrival of players like Darragh Lohan, Conor Leen and Cian Galvin to mention some. These are big additions to the overall squad. They have added energy and new life to the whole set up”.

“I am not the most optimistic person ever but I am feeling confident about the weekend and looking forward to the game with confidence. Yes, Limerick are going for six in a row and one can’t take that away from them but we are the one team able to put it up to them. We don’t fear Limerick for sure”, commented Michael.

A selector with Clare when they won the National Hurling League title in 2016, Browne stated, “if you give Limerick a chance, that’s it. In the game in Ennis the subs they brought on transformed the game. They may have lost a few big players but they have such talent in depth. They have players who would start in any other team in the country”.

The Crusheen man believes that “having Tony Kelly available to play is a big boost and I suspect that they will start him. He is a huge player”.

Michael is particularly impressed by the performances of Shane O’Donnell. “The amount of work he is getting through and the number of scores that he is involved in is something else. It’s a pleasure to sit back and watch him play”.

Concluding he said “all of our big players haven’t hit form fully together in games and when most of them do, they are an awesome force. As I said earlier I can’t wait for Sunday. Bring it on”.

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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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