Clare minor football selector Eamon Keane is hopeful that a number of key players will be fit and available to take on Limerick next Wednesday evening.
The Shannon Gaels clubman views the game as an equal opportunity for both counties to reach a Munster final and secure a place in the last eight of the All-Ireland series, whether they win or lose the final.
“Jack Sheedy (St Breckan’s) suffered a dead leg and Colin McNeilus (Clondegad) injured his shoulder against Tipperary. Joe Miniter (Kilrush) picked up a slight injury at training. We’re hoping that they will be ready,” he said.
Clare are well aware that Limerick will view this game as a clear path to what will be the last minor football final.
“Limerick will see it as a big opportunity as well, particularly when it’s a home game for them. They’ll put everything into it and I’m sure they’ll be ready for us. We’re really just taking this game on its own. There is a prize there but we have to focus on the Limerick game. It won’t be easy because both teams see this as a huge opportunity to get to a Munster final and raise the profile of underage football in both counties,” Keane added.
This will be Clare’s fourth game of the Munster championship. On April 12, they were beaten 2-16 to 1-6 by Kerry in Tralee, while they subsequently beat Waterford (5-11 to 0-6) and Tipperary (0-10 to 0-5).
“The Kerry game was a little bit of a setback. It was our first game and away to Kerry, we were going into the lion’s den. I think the players have responded well since. We weren’t happy with our performance and even in the Waterford game, it took us until the second half before we really got going. We seemed to consolidate a little bit against Tipperary but there is still some improvement needed,” Keane said of Clare’s incremental improvement since their opening game.
With five dual players on the football and hurling panels, the management teams have worked together to ensure that the players are not overloaded.
“Seamus [Clancy] and [minor hurling manager] Seán Doyle have a good relationship and there have been no issues. There has been good communication between both camps and we’ve managed to organise things fairly well. Both managers are happy to release the players when necessary. There is an understanding on both sides to release the players when needed. That has worked well and that’s a big help,” Eamon Keane concluded.
By Peter O’Connell