Colm Collins hopes Cratloe Covid cases serve as warning to young people

Colm Collins hopes Cratloe Covid cases serve as warning to young people
Clare manager Colm Collins   

Clare senior football manager Colm Collins hopes his club Cratloe’s Covid-19 situation will help young people realise that they are not impervious to the virus.

Six club members have tested positive for coronavirus although it is believed only one player from the senior panels is among them.

It’s a difficult lesson to be learned but Collins would like to believe it will serve as a reminder that anyone can contract the virus. 

“There was a lot of misinformation about this pandemic, that ‘oh, this doesn’t affect young people’. That was a lot of utter rubbish. It was pedalled at the start but there have been some horrifying stories since.

“It’s something we have to live with and I think when we were being careful we were controlling things. There is no such thing as a whistle and hey, we’re back to normal. That ain’t happening so we have to be as vigilant as possible. I’m seeing behaviour around the place and I just hope we’re not back where we were.”

Cratloe’s senior and intermediate hurling and football championship games scheduled for last and this weekend have been postponed but allowances have been made for them to continue in the competitions. Their SHC clash with Éire Óg is now due to take place the weekend after next.

Collins was buoyed by the support shown to them by fellow clubs who insisted on them remaining in the championships. 

“It was heartening to see that support and I think by and large we’re all the same. I might be one club and the next fella might be another club and when we’re competing we forget it but they’re decent people and trying to do their best and trying to give the youth of the country something to look forward to.

“The GAA is a great organisation and that was a typical example why, that people were looking at Cratloe and saying, ‘That could be us, let’s not try and gain an advantage.’ The whole thing is very worrying. It wasn’t too bad the last time because we had lovely weather but imagine facing into weather with the kind of lockdown that is going on in the three counties?”

Faced with a fixtures backlog as a result of extra Covid-19 restrictions, Laois are considering the possibility of not fulfilling their final two Allianz Division 2 league games which could have implications for Collins’ Clare, who are currently one position below them. Were the points for Laois’ final two games to be rewarded to Westmeath and Fermanagh, it would guarantee Westmeath’s safety and improve Fermanagh’s chance of survival for 2021.

However, as well as threatening Laois’ own presence in the second flight it could impact Clare’s hopes of staying up. The Banner lost to Laois by one point in February so they would have no opportunity to be awarded points but Collins isn’t thinking that way yet.

“These are strange times. We have to wait and see what happens. Obviously, things are very difficult in Laois and the other two counties that are locked down at the moment and I’d be slow to say anything about it. Whatever happens, happens but we have the greatest of sympathy for them.

“Even if we weren’t in the situation we’re in right now in Division 2, I would be saying let’s work together to see what we can do to get the best possible outcome and we don’t disadvantage anyone.

“Hopefully things improve but to be honest I would be a lot more concerned about the virus getting worse in the other 29 counties. In a way, maybe the three counties are in the best position in the sense that there are stronger measures there.”

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