Clare star John Conlon says the panel has been energised by the arrival of new manager Brian Lohan, though he feels the outgoing management team of Gerry O’Connor and Donal Moloney were “disrespected”.
Conlon experienced a fortnight’s training under the new regime before departing for Abu Dhabi, where he is part of the PwC All-Stars travelling party.
Speaking on tour, he described his first impressions of the former Banner full-back’s reign.
“They’re a great management team. Brian has done so much for Clare hurling as a player and has a good record as a manager with UL, winning the Fitzgibbon. Yeah, you’d have massive time and respect for what he’s done for Clare hurling.
“The minute he walked in... I wouldn’t have met Brian much on a personal level... but, yeah, the last two weeks have been very enjoyable. We’ve done a lot of hurling and played a lot of games against one another. There’s a big panel in at the moment and it’s good to see a lot of lads back playing that maybe had taken breaks for the last few years.
“It’s positive at the moment. The team he has brought in around him is very good so far, and they are all well respected hurling men.
“He brought in Keith Carr, strength and conditioning, and he’s had a good record with various teams, Galway footballers and Westmeath. Things are very bright since we started training back two weeks ago.”
Conlon admits the long delay in finalising a new management team was frustrating for players.
“It was very frustrating because you had everyone in the county coming up and asking you, thinking the players would know what was going on. It’s frustrating when you’re kind of saying to them, well we don’t have a clue either and you probably know more than us.”
He was part of the player deputation that spoke with the Clare County Board to seek clarity on the situation.
“We just sat down with the County Board. Obviously as players we were worried going forward.
“We kind of had a good management team in Donal and Gerry. They did fantastic things for us. They put a lot of responsibility on players to really gain ownership of the group.
“It was a great player-led environment. I suppose we were maybe unlucky not to win a Munster or win something with them. We were very close.
“And I felt maybe they were a bit disrespected at times. Overall, they did a lot for us, and we felt it wasn’t fair the scenario that was going on.”