KILMURRY Ibrickane players will line out for the county senior football team in 2018.
That was the message delivered to football fans across Clare by manager Colm Collins this week after his charges kick-started the season with a facile 2-18 to 1-9 win over over Waterford in the McGrath Cup.
Speaking to The Clare People the Banner boss put an end to fears that the county champions wouldn’t be represented on the Clare squad for the coming season, a spectre that was raised by the ‘Bricks manager Aiden Moloney in the aftermath of their Cusack Cup final victory over St Joseph’s Miltown at the end of November.
After hailing the recruitment of ‘Bricks legend Enda Coughlan to the Clare backroom team, Collins was questioned whether the eight-time county championship winner will be joined in the set-up by other members of the all-conquering Kilmurry Ibrickane club.
“There is no fear of that [not happening],” said Collins, in a clear indication that both Keelan Sexton and Martin McMahon — two crucial players to the Clare cause — will have linked up with the squad once more as preparations build for the NFL Division 2 opener against Cavan in Cusack Park on 28 January.
“We’ll be getting them back bit by bit,” said Collins. “When you think about it, Miltown and Kilmurry only really finished at the start of December so lads need a bit of time off. It’s very important that they come back fresh and wanting to play, so that’s the case,” he added.
Fears that they might not be available had been sparked after Moloney said “there just won’t be players going to the county team and that’s just the bottom line” after the champions made a stand following the two players unavailability for the club under the 13-day rule for a Cusack Cup game against O’Curry’s last June.
Meanwhile, Collins said the introduction of Enda Coughlan to the Clare management will be “a great help” going forward.
“He has given great service to Clare — he was a fantastic player and the main thing about Enda is that he’s well respected by people all over the county.
“He’ll be the Maor Foirne for the year and when Enda tells you to do something that’s it, there’s going to be no second question about that. We’re delighted to have him on board. He has a great football brain,” he added.
Pic: Members of the Clare management during the McGrath Cup game against Waterford in Meelick.
This week’s Clare People out now