Monday 18 December 2017

Banner flying high again as promotion beckons

Clare manager Colm Collins. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Clare manager Colm Collins. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Clare footballers have two chances of securing promotion to Division 2 but manager, Colm Collins is - for now at least - ignoring the second one.

Kildare are already guaranteed an escape from Division 3, while Clare are two points behind them, with Longford, Offaly, Sligo and Tipperary a further two points back.

It's all very congested in the race for the second promotion slot but Clare have the inside rail and they prepare for the clash with Kildare in Newbridge next Sunday. For not only are they two points ahead of the chasing quartet, they also have by far the best scoring difference, which could yet prove crucial.

Scoring difference decides placings if more than two teams finish level on points but Collins, who is hopeful of having his son Podge available on Sunday, is determined not to let that enter the equation.

"We know what we have to do to be promoted. If we win or draw, we go up, irrespective of other results. That's our aim," he said.

Clare's pursuers may be concerned that since Kildare are already sure of promotion, they may be less driven than normal but it's a theory that Collins dismisses.

"I can't see any team sent out by Cian O'Neill being anything other than fully motivated," he said.

Collins is thrilled with the contribution of Mick Bohan, who came aboard as coach this season. A native of Clontarf, he worked with Dublin under Jim Gavin for a period.

"Mick has been great. He has brought a lot of new ideas and they're working well. If we were told in January that we'd have promotion in our own hands going into the last game, we'd have jumped at it. We have make it count now," added Collins.

Irish Independent

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