It’s the sixth time Colm Collins will face Kerry in the championship as Clare manager having been drawn on the same side of Munster as the Kingdom for four consecutive seasons between 2015 and ‘19.
The Banner will travel to Killarney for the first round game. and forward David Tubridy knows the enormity of the challenge. “It’s a tough one. It’s one of the teams you didn’t want to see coming out of the hat against us but to win the Munster championship you have to beat the best and we’re going to be facing a Kerry team who slipped up big time last year and I think they know that they did slip up so they’ll be all guns blazing this year.
“Killarney is a tough spot to go to. I don’t think there will be any big crowds allowed in the stadiums so that might make a bit of a difference. We’re just looking forward to it and when you get a chance to play Kerry in their backyard you have to embrace it.” “Then you have Tipp, the Munster champions, on our side. It was great to see a bit of a change at the top in the Munster championship last year. For ourselves, Limerick and Waterford, it just shows you that it can be done.
The 33-year-old publican admits he was close to retiring but decided to stay on for another season after speaking to family and former team-mates. “I was thinking of packing it in this year but I made a few phone-calls to past players and had a chat with the parents. The way the bar and restaurant is closed at the moment, I could give football full attention and get fit and take on extra stuff. I never thought I’d start into pilates but I even gave that a shot this year.” Elsewhere, new Sligo manager Tony McEntee’s first championship game in charge will bring him face to face with Mayo who he worked with between 2016 and 2018. The winners of this contest will advance to play Leitrim in the penultimate round.
On the other side of the draw, Galway and Roscommon will do battle for a place in the decider. The most recent championship meeting between the counties was the 2019 Connacht final which Roscommon won in Salthill.
With London and New York not involved due to Covid travel logistical difficulties, the draw involving the five indigenous Connacht counties was the first open Connacht SFC draw since 1974.