Fresh from securing their promotion to the Clare SFC, Leo Duggan expressed his confidence that St Josephs Doora/Barefield can leave a mark in the 2021 senior campaign.
Returning to the senior ranks of Clare football is a timely boost for St Josephs Doora/Barefield given the age profile of their panel, manager Kevin Frehill affirmed.
In bridging a seven year gap to their last success in the competition, St. Josephs Doora-Barefield caused a big upset when they defeated Corofin in the intermediate football championship final at Cusack Park this Sunday afternoon.
Senior football is where it is at and the present is the ideal time for an emerging Corofin side to return to the grade if they perform on the big day.
That’s the view of Corofin manager Colm Clancy as he puts the finishing touches to plans for this Saturday’s intermediate football final.
A key member of Clare’s 1992 Munster championship winning team, Colm is joined in the Corofin backroom team by Pat Curtis, Geoff O’Sullivan and Peadar O’Brien.
Senior championship quarter finalists two years ago, Corofin were relegated last year and all involved are keen to make a quick return to the top division.
There is concern about the fitness of key forward Gearoid Cahill who picked up a hamstring injury twenty minutes into their semi-final win over Kildysart. “We won’t know until later this week whether or not he has a chance of playing a part”, the manager explained.
At the time of writing there was concern about the availability of Gearoid’s younger brother Diarmuid and Conor Leen. They are both key members of the Corofin/Ruan minor hurling team which has qualified for the Minor A final, a game that is provisionally listed for this weekend. “We would love to have both Diarmuid and Conor as both are key members of the squad”.
The manager acknowledged, “there is a lot of serious work being done at underage level in the club. We are trying to work on that and achieve what they are potentially capable of”.
Being a dual club “has its challenges but it has its benefits also. It’s great for young lads to be able to compete for both. It has challenges regards training and managing players to make sure they don’t get an overload. Generally people are understanding”.
This year, “Covid presented its own problems, not knowing at the start what way it was going to go. The shorter season is a plus, lads can focus more and set minds on goals. A longer season drags out”.
“Having lads around this year is a boost, every player is a boost, you need other players driving lads on. One would hope to have 25 pushing and improving each year and making a step up. It was good for the bond. That’s what a club is about, training hard and feeling good”.
Clancy who managed St Josephs Doora/Barefield in recent seasons is well aware what their final opponents will bring to the table. “They are a good club, good lads. Usually when one is with your own club and looking at others you don’t realise what they have. Doora/Barefield have good players, a lot have played for the county. They are always confident and capable and will provide a tough challenge”.
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.
Two years after losing their senior status, St Josephs, Doora/Barefield are one step away from a return to senior football.
Corofin’s path to senior redemption received a timely validation after exacting revenge on Kildysart to cement their place in the Intermediate Football Final in Shanahan McNamara Memorial Park, Doonbeg on Sunday afternoon.
Cratloe’s reward for dethroning St Josephs Miltown in the Clare SFC is a semi-final tie with current intermediate champions St Breckans.
A strong opening ten minutes to the second half which yielded 2-3 without reply sent Corofin on the road to victory in this intermediate football championship play off on Sunday evening.
Knockout clashes in the Clare SFC and IFC will proceed this weekend except the meeting of Cratloe and Clondegad.