| 0.9°C Dublin

Senior glory for Clanns is Talty's aim

A SANDYMOUNT stroll. A nice thing to do of a evening, or at anytime of the day. The seafront is always humming.

There are walkers and runners taking in the air. And happy dogs too.

In the distance, the tall floodlights of Clanna Gael Fontenoy cheer up the scenery. A familiar, welcome sight.

Clanns is always bustling. They came so near to senior football this year, pipped on the line by Naomh MearnĂ³g.

In charge was Brian Talty, one of Dublin football's most colourful characters. If you sat Talts in the Mastermind chair and Dublin football was his subject, they'd run out of questions. Albert Hannon and Ronan Smyth were his leading lieutenants.

He's managing the team again this term. Mick Fitzgerald and Des Markey are on board. The Promised Land is firmly punched into the sat-nav.

But they know it won't be easy. St Peregrine's were in the Division 3 play-offs for three years in succession. No joy. Last season they achieved automatic promotion as Division 3 champs.

"That's the way to do it," notes Clanns vice-chairman Pat Kane. "The aim has to be to win it outright because the play-offs are a minefield.

"Division 3 is the great abyss of Dublin football. There are so many good teams there. Every one of them is competitive.

"We were close this time. It would have been a huge bonus for us to have got into senior football. But we have picked it up again now and we'll see what happens. We had such a great run last year. But as I say getting up is not easy for anyone. It must be about 30 years since Clanns were last in senior football."

Perhaps Talts and his cohorts can find the magic potion to follow the Fontenoy hurlers into the big top. Clanns are in AHL Division 2. Managing them this season is Shay Connolly. Shay's son, Ciaran, is a sweet hurler.

"We finished mid-table last season and we reached the Junior A Championship final. The plan now is to push on from there," reports Pat.

Shay Connolly is also the overall Club chief. The facilities are among the best in the country. The include two floodlit Prunty Pitches, a hurling wall, an all-weather training pitch, plus an elegant clubhouse.

"We have done the ground work by putting in the facilities. Now we want to be competitive on the pitch. We are getting there," says Pat. We are in the middle of a huge sporting area. You have rugby on one side and soccer on the other. But things are coming around for us."

The upsurge in the camogie and ladies football is another positive feature. Camogie prospers and Clanns have two Jackies in the house, Kim Flood and Rachel Byrne.

The Clanns chief is Eugene Davey, a celebrated name of Dublin GAA and a dear Friend of Dublin hurling.

Across the street, the new Lansdowne Road is about to open its doors. The Clanns' doors are always open for new recruits.

And with a rub of the green and yellow, Clanns could well be in Dublin's senior football enclosure came the end of 2010.

If that happens, the great Talts might even be persuaded to sing a few bars of The Galway Girl.