Monday 23 October 2017

U-21 final the perfect warm-up for replay

John Mullane

CLARE'S next stop is the Bord Gais Energy All-Ireland U-21 final against Antrim next Saturday

Clare will win and while it might feel to some that it's a game that will get in the way of preparation for the senior replay, I don't see it like that.

The vast majority of this Clare team is involved in the U-21 set-up and another game will work wonders for them.

They'll push on and beat Antrim and All-Ireland medals in the back pocket will stand them in good stead going into the senior replay with Cork.

This week would have been about recovery anyway for the U-21s and a game is no harm at all.

When it's done and dusted, they still have two weeks to get ready for the senior match. What would worry me from a Clare perspective is the fact that there's just one round of the local championship played. And at this rate, the county champions won't have a representative in the Munster club championship.

A final word this week for Barry Kelly following the sad death of his wife Catherine. Twelve months ago, Barry was refereeing an All-Ireland final and he's one of the officials I would have got on well with during my playing career.

When I heard the news, I was deeply saddened. My thoughts and sympathies to Barry and his young children at this time.

Ar dheis De go raibh a h-anam dhilis.

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