*Stephen Ryan. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARE’s senior footballers are to be without vice-captain and first-choice goalkeeper Stephen Ryan for Saturday’s crunch All-Ireland SFC clash with Ulster champions Donegal.

Goalkeeper Ryan sustained what is understood to be a serious injury that will preclude him from lining out in the remainder of the All-Ireland SFC regardless of how Clare fare with Donegal and he will also be sidelined for Kilrush Shamrocks’ bid to secure promotion to the senior ranks.

He picked up the knee injury in training subsequent to Clare’s second round loss to Tyrone.

However, scans to determine the exact extent of the injury have to be confirmed, a source for the Clare senior football set-up informed The Clare Echo. The AIB employee had been named to start in the team announced on Friday morning.

During Mark Fitzgerald’s first year as manager, Stephen’s role within the set-up has enhanced with the goalkeeper having a much more frequent involvement in Clare’s open play.

McHale Park in Castelbar hosts the meeting of Clare and Donegal at 3pm on Saturday where a win against Jim McGuinness’ side can secure a preliminary quarter-final for Clare, provided Tyrone overcome or draw with Cork in the other game in Group 3.

Ryan’s absence will make the challenge even greater with Tristan O’Callaghan of St Breckan’s next in line to stand between the posts for Clare.

Suspension keeps Darragh Bohannon out of the tie with a new midfield partner needed for Brian McNamara as a result. Micheál Garry has been named to start but is likely to occupy a defensive role and positional switches will be made to the team.

Bohannon’s absence from the squad allows Cormac Murray to rejoin the matchday panel. The St Joseph’s Miltown been out of action with injury and is back in contention to feature during Saturday’s tie with Donegal.

The following is the named Clare team.

Clare:
1: Stephen Ryan (Kilrush Shamrocks)

2: Manus Doherty (Éire Óg)
3: Cillian Brennan (Clondegad)
4: Ronan Lanigan (Éire Óg)

5: Alan Sweeney (St Breckan’s)
6: Cillian Rouine (Ennistymon)
7: Ikem Ugwueru (Éire Óg)

8: Brian McNamara (Cooraclare)
9: Micheál Garry (Cooraclare)

10: Daniel Walsh (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
11: Dermot Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
12: Gavin Murray (Éire Óg)

13: Ciaran Downes (Kilmihil)
14: Aaron Griffin (Lissycasey)
15: Emmet McMahon (Kildysart)

Subs:
16: Tristan O’Callaghan (St Breckan’s)
17: Cormac Murray (St Breckan’s)
18: Darren Nagle (Liscannor)
19: Jamie Stack (St Breckan’s)
20: Diarmuid O’Donnell (Kildysart)
21: Mark McInerney (Éire Óg)
22: Joe McGann (St Breckan’s)
23: Éinne O’Connor (Éire Óg)
24: Cian Burke (St Breckan’s)
25: Shane Griffin (Lissycasey)
26: James Curran (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)

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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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