Two-time All-Ireland winning Clare selector Tony Considine believes the Banner County would be well served by mirroring Cork’s progressive approach and filling their various management teams with the men who twice delivered Liam MacCarthy glory in the mid-’90s.
Dismayed at the hold-up in appointing a senior management team for 2020, Considine has called for a clear-out of Clare county board’s top table.
He says the first act of any new executive must be to reach out to past players such as Anthony Daly, Ollie Baker, Brian Lohan, Jamesie O’Connor, Fergal Hegarty, Conor Clancy, Alan Neville, and Ger Sparrow O’Loughlin and involve them in Clare teams from senior right down to development squad level.
It is 110 days since Clare’s 2019 season concluded, and yet a decision has still to be made as to who will oversee the Banner hurlers in 2020.
Donal Moloney, one half of the outgoing ticket, has indicated his desire to stay in the role, but Considine believes the three-time All-Ireland U21 winning joint-manager should depart the scene, as his sideline compatriot Gerry O’Connor did early last month.
The senior, U20, minor, and U16 management teams unveiled by Cork County Board over the weekend contains numerous players — namely Diarmuid O’Sullivan, Wayne Sherlock, Donal Óg Cusack, Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, Tom Kenny and Niall McCarthy — who won All-Ireland senior medals across 1999, 2004, and 2005.
Considine says Clare should adopt a similar approach in turning to the heroes of 1995 and 1997 or risk being left behind.
“Look at the Cork minor management team alone. That contains three All-Ireland winners.
"That is not even their senior management team, it is only their minor management, so that gives you an indication of the future planning they are doing in Cork.
"Why aren’t we doing the same here in Clare when we have so much talent on our own doorstep? Why are we not tapping into this talent,” asked Considine, who served as Clare manager for a spell in the noughties.
“There are so many past Clare players who have gone away and established themselves as coaches and managers at club, Fitzgibbon Cup, and intercounty level. It is absolutely crazy that they are not being used.
“Fergal Hegarty coached the Ballyea team to reach the All-Ireland club final; Alan Neville has guided Cratloe to back-to-back Clare SHC finals; Brian Lohan steered UL to Fitzgibbon Cup glory; Conor Clancy has done tremendous work with Kilmaley at underage level; Anthony Daly and Sparrow, sure we don’t even need to mention what they have achieved.
"I know some of these were involved before but so what. There’s Jamesie O’Connor and Baker too. For the overall good of Clare hurling, it is time to bring these lads in and get them involved.”