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*Clare captain, Eoin Cleary. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Clare’s victory over Roscommon at Croke Park on Sunday has “provided a huge lift for the county”.

That’s according to team captain Eoin Cleary who said shortly after the game “it’s not too many times that Clare footballers get to play in Croke Park, This is huge for the promotion of the game, not alone to play in Croke Park but to win a championship game. We are absolutely delighted”, the St Joseph’s Miltown clubman commented.

“We have shown over the years that we don’t give up. No matter what position we are in we know we can still win the game, if we stick to the system we have in place. Everyone of us on the pitch knew that we had the opportunity to still win the game and thankfully we did that”.

Commenting on the scores Clare secured in the closing minutes he acknowledged, “they were great scores. We know for a long time that Keelan (Sexton) has that talent and, in fairness, those kicks were vital. He has been playing well all year, it’s his best year so far and its a credit to the work he has put in”.

The captain was clearly proud of the effort put in by all involved. “Look everyone stood up today and you couldn’t but be proud of everyone, everyone that came on and they guys who drove us on in training during the week and prepared us for this challenge, even though some guys didn’t play, they prepared us for that battle during the week”.

He made reference to the contribution of David Tubridy, Clare’s most experienced player; “We never panicked and it helps when you have someone with the experience of David Tubridy to bring on. He inspires the younger guys. We have a good mix of youth and experience and we need all of that”, the Limerick based Garda said

The skipper was equally proud of the effort put in by manager Colm Collins and his backroom team. “This result is testament to the work that has gone in under Colm Collins, his backroom team and the people he has brought in this year which has strengthened certain areas. The whole set up is good. He (Collins) puts everything into Clare football and when we go out to play we are trying to do him justice and do our family justice and do Clare justice. Today we did that. We are very proud of being from Clare and to have the opportunity to represent our county”.

Cleary agreed that Clare had finished strongly and said “it was always going to be tough to win this one. A few years ago we played Armagh in Armagh and it looked like the game was safe for us but unfortunately in the final five minutes they turned the game and won by a point. You learn from those experiences”.

With his brother Conor a key member of the Clare senior hurling team which will face Wexford in the All-Ireland quarter final on this Saturday in Thurles it has been a busy and exciting time for the Cleary household. “My family will take great pride in this. We are very proud of what he (Conor) has achieved with the hurlers, they are having a great year. We will be supporting him next week and they will support us a week later. It’s a great time to be a Clare supporter in general. It’s onwards and upwards now, hurling next week and football a week later, these are exciting times”.

Cleary was not exerting energy worrying about who Clare will face in the quarter-finals. “It makes no difference who we will meet. We are looking forward to it, its one of four teams and whoever it will be we will prepare well and give it our best shot. This week we will work on a few things and try and correct a few mistakes we made today”. Clare’s victory over Roscommon at Croke Park on Sunday has “provided a huge lift for the county”.

That’s according to team captain Eoin Cleary who said shortly after the game “it’s not too many times that Clare footballers get to play in Croke Park, This is huge for the promotion of the game, not alone to play in Croke Park but to win a championship game. We are absolutely delighted”, the St Joseph’s Miltown clubman commented.

“We have shown over the years that we don’t give up. No matter what position we are in we know we can still win the game, if we stick to the system we have in place. Everyone of us on the pitch knew that we had the opportunity to still win the game and thankfully we did that”.

Commenting on the scores Clare secured in the closing minutes he acknowledged, “they were great scores. We know for a long time that Keelan (Sexton) has that talent and, in fairness, those kicks were vital. He has been playing well all year, it’s his best year so far and its a credit to the work he has put in”.

The captain was clearly proud of the effort put in by all involved. “Look everyone stood up today and you couldn’t but be proud of everyone, everyone that came on and they guys who drove us on in training during the week and prepared us for this challenge, even though some guys didn’t play, they prepared us for that battle during the week”.

He made reference to the contribution of David Tubridy, Clare’s most experienced player; “We never panicked and it helps when you have someone with the experience of David Tubridy to bring on. He inspires the younger guys. We have a good mix of youth and experience and we need all of that”, the Limerick based Garda said

The skipper was equally proud of the effort put in by manager Colm Collins and his backroom team. “This result is testament to the work that has gone in under Colm Collins, his backroom team and the people he has brought in this year which has strengthened certain areas. The whole set up is good. He (Collins) puts everything into Clare football and when we go out to play we are trying to do him justice and do our family justice and do Clare justice. Today we did that. We are very proud of being from Clare and to have the opportunity to represent our county”.

Cleary agreed that Clare had finished strongly and said “it was always going to be tough to win this one. A few years ago we played Armagh in Armagh and it looked like the game was safe for us but unfortunately in the final five minutes they turned the game and won by a point. You learn from those experiences”.

With his brother Conor a key member of the Clare senior hurling team which will face Wexford in the All-Ireland quarter final on this Saturday in Thurles it has been a busy and exciting time for the Cleary household. “My family will take great pride in this. We are very proud of what he (Conor) has achieved with the hurlers, they are having a great year. We will be supporting him next week and they will support us a week later. It’s a great time to be a Clare supporter in general. It’s onwards and upwards now, hurling next week and football a week later, these are exciting times”.

Cleary was not exerting energy worrying about who Clare will face in the quarter-finals. “It makes no difference who we will meet. We are looking forward to it, its one of four teams and whoever it will be we will prepare well and give it our best shot. This week we will work on a few things and try and correct a few mistakes we made today”.

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