Photograph: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

SUCCESS and becoming the ‘team that everyone wants to beat’ has always been the aspiration for Wayne Freeman since he was appointed manager of the Clare intermediate ladies footballers.

Monastervin’s Wayne was appointed as Evan Talty’s successor in October 2022. For his first campaign, Clare lost to his native Kildare in the All-Ireland final by a single point and when the counties met in last year’s league final it took extra time to separate them.

Those battles with Kildare had earmarked Clare as favourites to win the Lidl Ladies Football Division 3 title in 2024 and they duly obliged. “We’ve been favourites to win this, people overlooked us last year and I feel we were shown disrespect last year and it got up our backs a little bit, we’ve earned the fact that we were favourites, we’ve pushed on with that and put it in our stride, it is another string to our bow, we’re happy to be talked about as the best team and we are the ones everyone else wants to beat”.

Key to their 1-6 1-4 win over Roscommon on Saturday was their defensive display in the opening half where they were against the conditions but managed to stay on level terms with the Connacht side. “Against the conditions in the first half our defensive performance was excellent, we had as many shots on goal as they did, we had two or three goal chances that we should have put away, one or two which were stopped by Helena Cummins but she is a really good goalkeeper, the goal in the first half was a massive momentum builder for us, it took a lot of pressure off us at half time”.

Preparation was flagged by Freeman and he believed their arrival into Birr in plenty of time where they watched the Division 4 final between Carlow and Limerick allowed them to get a better sense of the conditions. “We were here nice and early so we got to watch the first game and we saw the dynamics of playing against the wind in the first half, Carlow played against the wind and won the game so it was something to prepare for anyway, we would have spoke about how we were setting up defensively against the wind and with the wind, we were unbelievably prepared for this and we trained really well, the intensity that Graham forces the girls to bring to training is unbelievable, as soon as we take a foot off in training we under-perform, we train at 100 miles an hour right up until the game and that is testament to them”.

In his first year as manager of the Louth ladies, Wayne guided them to win the Division 4 league title. Saturday’s success is the second piece of silverware he has won as a manager at a national level.

He referenced Clare winning the Munster Senior B last year but labelled “the lesser of the three competitions but it was still a tangible trophy and it built confidence for us, this is bigger. We’ve time to settle down now, we go away from each other for the next two and a half weeks, we don’t meet up again for two and a half weeks, we take a break and re-assess before putting in a massive body of work again for championship”.

Squad depth for Clare has improved this year with the returns of Ailish Considine and Roisin Considine plus the addition of the tireless Teresa Collins at wing forward. It was highlighted in the fact that top scorer Fidelma Marrinan was kept scoreless but Clare still managed to win and also that they did so without the injured Chloe Moloney. “Fidelma is top scorer in the country, Ailish was our top scorer today but Fidelma won’t care as long as we win the game, that is the way it is in our squad at the moment. Earlier in the year we had Chloe Moloney who was so unlucky to get a weird injury, that metatarsal and the impact down on the foot, we lost her and she is one of the best footballers in the country, not just Clare, she’s been a massive loss for us and is a huge leader on the pitch for us vocally and the way she moves players around tactically, she is one of the best players I’ve seen in ladies football to understand the game, her brain is phenomenal so to be able to perform so well without her and rotate the squad as well as we’ve done we’re so happy with ourselves”.

Related News

shannon airport 1-2
Increased frequency on nine routes results in 200,000 extra seats for services from Shannon Airport
joe floyd tulla 18-05-21 2
Floyd takes aim at 'scandalous & disgraceful' expenses claimed by councillors as he throws name back in ring for election
bunratty castle pb 1
Bidding to make Bunratty 'a world-class attraction'
séamus horgan pope francis-2
Ennis Monsignor Horgan appointed Papal Nuncio to South Sudan
Latest News
joe floyd tulla 18-05-21 2
Floyd takes aim at 'scandalous & disgraceful' expenses claimed by councillors as he throws name back in ring for election
bunratty castle pb 1
Bidding to make Bunratty 'a world-class attraction'
séamus horgan pope francis-2
Ennis Monsignor Horgan appointed Papal Nuncio to South Sudan
fursa kavanagh 1
Green Cavanagh puts Shannon Airport rail link at top of agenda
image
Infant Hunter Molloy 'radiated love and lived his life fully'
Premium
knappogue castle 1
Knappogue Castle to open as private residence this year
garda
Woman sustained broken eye socket, broken ribs, collapsed lung, stitches to face from alleged assault by then boyfriend
clare v tipperary minor 30-04-24 dermot coughlan 1
'We lost it in the first fifteen minutes' - Coughlan on Clare's exit in minor semi-final
ennis courthouse tent 24-02-21 4
Jail warning for mother of three who walks children on daily six mile round school trip
ennistymon v st breckans 07-07-23 liam cotter 1
Cusack Cup champions Ennistymon still unbeaten

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.

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.

Scroll to Top