Sunday 17 December 2017

Club action to postpone Collins' dual split decision

Podge Collins. Photo: Sportsfile
Podge Collins. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Podge Collins is close to making a decision on his inter-county future after indicating that he will only play one code in 2017.

But he will wait until after Cratloe's interest in championship football is over for the year before finalising it.

Cratloe, who are also coached by his father and current Clare manager Colm, meet Kilmurry-Ibrickane in Sunday's replay.

He says he is still undecided as to whether he will stick with his father's team, with whom he played exclusively in 2015, or devote everything to the hurlers under new management.

Last season's arrangement was testing as Clare progressed to an All-Ireland football quarter-final which they lost to Kerry.

But on the way he had to play a qualifier on the Saturday before the All-Ireland hurling quarter-final loss to Galway.

"I don't know what I'm going to do, I'm not even going to think about it until Cratloe is done. Cratloe is the focus now so it is 100 per cent football until that is finished. Hopefully it isn't finished for a while," he said.

The Clare champions face Dr Crokes in a Munster club quarter-final the following weekend.

Cratloe won't have Clare senior hurler Conor McGrath who is injured and Collins feels they did well to survive the last day.

"We were kind of chasing a bit in the sense that they were going a point or two up, but we kept coming back to draw.

"They went a point or two up, we never took the lead in that second half. So I suppose they will feel a bit aggrieved that they probably should have kicked on to win it, but we are happy to get another crack at it."

Regardless of what code he chooses, Clare have Munster Championship matches against Limerick next summer in hurling and football.

"It (hurling semi-final draw) puts you in the Munster final if you win it so both teams are going to be licking their lips at the idea. It is a Munster semi-final, one game.

"Look at Tipp and Cork, they have a much tougher route."

But even if Collins does depart the football squad he'll be leaving behind a lot of talented players with a bright future.

"Kealan Sexton, Jamie Malone, and Eoin Cleary, the skill level of some of them is incredible. They have the attitude to boot so it is positive.

"There are great prospects in Clare football and Clare football got a good bit of publicity this year which is very good for young lads in the county interested in it."

Meanwhile, Dublin hurler David Treacy has said they have to move on from uncertainty over Danny Sutcliffe's future.

Sutcliffe opted out last year and the indications are he won't be back in the Dublin fold in the short term.

"I haven't had a conversation with him, Danny would be a good friend of mine, but once he's made his mind up, it's up," said Treacy.

"You can't knock a fella - the likes of Johnny Glynn, Jamie Clarke - if they make a decision to go away and step back, you have to respect a fella when he cannot give 100 per cent to the panel."

Irish Independent

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