Enforced experimentation pays dividends

Clare's Co-Manager Donal Moloney / Natasha Barton

It wasn’t lost on Clare Joint-Manager Donal Moloney that after six previous Munster titles at the development grades, his first provincial silverware at senior level would also come largely thanks to a new crop of underage talent.
However, while fleshing out their squad has been a keen priority, Moloney also admitted that Clare’s large scale experimentation during the Munster League hasn’t always been by choice.
“This competition has been important in terms of getting some new guys in, giving ourselves more options and giving them lots of game-time because it was very, very difficult last summer. We only used about 20 guys in the championship more or less but the championship isn’t the place for experimentation, it’s do-or-die by then. “So now is the time to experiment and really we’ve been forced to do so because being perfectly honest, the team that was on the field today is the best fit team at the moment and that’s the reality.
“We’ve a long list on the sideline at the moment but they will be returning to action in the coming weeks albeit that it’s doubtful if many of them will be back for the Tipp game.”
With the Munster League honours bagged, Clare’s first trip to Semple Stadium for the first round of the National League now becomes the main focus.
“Today was pleasing but we got two very fortunate goals, we’ve got to recognise that. The first one and the third one were very, very fortunate so we won’t get those every day.
“But the attitude has been very good. I mean after our first half against Cork, you could have said that we were going nowhere but from then on, we’ve really turned things around. It helps to have built up a bit of confidence as well but Tipp were out-of-sorts today as well. I mean in reality this could be completely different in two week’s time.
“The National League is another level up so it will be a different level of intensity that night but look we’ll continue to explore and find new players and so on. This exercise has been good so far and the League format is changing (for 2020) so it’s probably affording teams a bit more opportunity to experiment.
“Playing Tipp in Thurles is never going to be easy but we’ll look forward to that. These are great games, I mean you see the size of the crowd that turned up today again for a Munster League Final after the massive crowd that was in Fraher Field last weekend.
“So it’s great to see people coming out watching games and hopefully they are getting value for money.”

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Eoin Brennan is the legendary sports hack who has been known to play around with the caman for his beloved Clarecastle. Eoin is currently PRO of Clarecastle GAA Club. Eoin's other love is spreading the gospel of Hurling and Football through his involvement in www.gogaelic.ie. Contact Eoin on [email protected]

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