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Tony Kelly named hurler of the month for November

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*Clare hurler Tony Kelly is pictured with the PwC GAA / GPA Player of the Month in Hurling for November award at Ballyea GAA Club in Ennis, Co. Clare. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Tony Kelly has added another personal honour to his mantelpiece after being named PWC GAA/GPA player of the month for November.

Following an outstanding championship campaign for Clare in which he scored 1-53 in four games, Tony was deservedly hailed as the player of the month across the country for the month of November.

At the very least, a second All-Star for the Ballyea man is expected. Presently, he is in a moonboot and will be that way for a period of up to two weeks. It follows an ankle injury he sustained in the warm-up for last weekend’s All-Ireland SHC quarter-final loss against Waterford in a challenge with Conor Cleary.

Reflecting on Clare’s season gone by, Tony praised manager Brian Lohan following the conclusion of his first year in charge. “It probably is the best hurling I’ve played for Clare. You’re trying to come back next year with the same form or try to improve it. Brian will give it to you straight as well, where you’re doing well, doing badly, what you need to improve on. He’s an absolute legend from all of us inside playing. Every one in Clare idolises the team of the 90s. I was used to having him in UL. I knew what to expect from him. All our lads are enjoying the setup.”

Looking ahead to 2021, he is confident Clonlara duo John Conlon and Colm Galvin will be back in the county colours but is less sure regarding 2018 All Star Peter Duggan. “John will definitely be back, he was near enough. Colm is close enough to being fully fit as well, come January or February time. Then you’re hoping that Peter Duggan gets sick of Australia and comes home”.

He continued, “The old lockdown restrictions aren’t helping our case to bring him home here especially when they aren’t locked down out in Australia. I’m trying to convince him at the minute that we’ll be out of lockdown soon enough and to come home in the new year. Hopefully if we plague him enough he might come home. You can’t hold it against anyone going travelling. Some lads want to experience, other lads don’t. Look at the life he’s living out there now with very few restrictions, it would make you jealous being in Ireland at the minute.”

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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