Wednesday 28 June 2017

Banner buzz lifted both teams - O'Brien

Clare football selector David O’Brien admits that their team has drawn oxygen from the revival of the hurlers over the last few months. Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Clare football selector David O’Brien admits that their team has drawn oxygen from the revival of the hurlers over the last few months. Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Clare football selector David O'Brien admits that their team has drawn oxygen from the revival of the hurlers over the last few months.

Both teams train side by side at Clare's Caherlohan GAA facility and after landing their respective league titles, O'Brien, who turned down an opportunity to work with Davy Fitzgerald in 2013 having been with him in Waterford and LIT, has hailed the "buzz" that the progress they have made has generated.

"Either they are coming in on the back of a win or we're coming in on the back of a win," he said of a progressive few months.

"So the teams are kind of feeding off each other. Now we are probably feeding a little bit more off them than they are feeding off us but there is a buzz at the minute."

O'Brien says, however, that the Clare footballers must be careful not to get ahead of themselves after turning over Kildare in a Division 3 final.

"If we don't perform against Limerick (in the Munster quarter-final) then the league has glossed over cracks that we didn't see coming so it's about us trying to improve and keep working.

"Hopefully promotion is a stepping stone to being a more consistent kind of team, a top 12 or 16 team if we can keep going forward.

"It's Colm Collins' third year, it's my first year involved, but it seems to be something that has driven them over the last couple of years - trying to get to that top 16 and even hopefully top 12. There is no crazy talk about going off and winning things."

O'Brien has hailed Collins' role in taking Clare up two divisions over the last three seasons.

"Everybody knows their role and he allows everyone to do their role. It's not a thing that if he tells you that you are with the backs tonight that he is standing over your shoulder then saying, 'No, I want it done this way'. He trusts everyone - whether it's the players or management, there is a massive trust thing there."

O'Brien said he has always enjoyed working with Fitzgerald.

"He just loves hurling. From knowing the man, his eyes open up when someone talks to him about hurling. If you needed something tomorrow and you had to pick your phone up and ask somebody that's definitely going to help you, he'd be one of the first ones that I would ring."

Irish Independent

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