Clare call for Kearns

FORMER Limerick football manager Liam Kearns has been approached by the Clare County Board about the prospect of becoming the new Clare senior football manager in succession to Michéal McDermott.
The Clare People has learned that Kearns, who on a couple of occasions brought the Shannonsiders to the cusp of a first Munster senior football title since 1896, is now the front runner for the senior manager’s job, with a groundswell of support for his appointment among members of the special Clare County Board committee charged with responsibility for sourcing a new manager.
One committee insider has told The Clare People that Kearns, who has been out of inter-county management since 2008 when he finished a three-year term in charge of Laois, could be enticed back to the inter-county fold with Clare.
“He has been asked by the committee about taking the Clare job,” the committee member revealed. “He is available and if Clare could get him, he would be the right man for the job because of the experience he has over a long number of years,” he added.
Kearns served as manager of Limerick from 1999 to 2005, leading the Shannonsiders to a historic breakthrough at Munster Under 21 level when they won a first ever provincial title in the grade in 2000 and went on to contest that year’s All-Ireland final against Tyrone.
At senior level he brought Limerick to back-to-back Munster finals in 2003 and 2004, losing to Kerry in both years. The 2004 final went to a replay, with Limerick only denied victory in the drawn game by a couple of goal-line catches from Dara Ó Sé that denied Eoin Keating the winning point. After stepping down as Limerick manager in 2005 Kearns succeeded Mick O’Dwyer as Laois manager in 2006 and spent three years with the midlanders.
As a player, 50-year-old Kearns was a member of the Austin Stacks club and played for the Kerry minor team for two years winning an All-Ireland Minor Football Championship with them in 1980, before graduating to the under 21 and senior ranks. He won a Kerry Senior Football Championship medal with Austin Stacks in 1986.
“I would hope that he takes the job,” says former Clare footballer selector Noel Walsh. “He has all the credentials that Clare need. He has managed at a high level. He made huge strides with Limerick and was unlucky not to win a Munster title with them, while living locally in Limerick is a big advantage for anyone interested in taking the job,” he added.


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