Friday 17 November 2017

Munster: County-by-county

Clare: All-Ireland titles: 0,Munster titles: 2 (most recent 1992)



Manager: Micheal McDermott (2nd season)

Captain: Gordon Kelly

Last Year: Waterford 1-10, Clare 0-9 (Munster quarter-final); Offaly 2-18, Clare 1-18 (aet, first round qualifier).

2011 NFL: 6th Div 4 (W3, D1, L4 ).

Last big championship achievement: Munster championship winners in 1992.

Key man: David Tubridy is still the 'go to' man for Clare.

Who could make a name for himself? Niall Browne made himself available for Clare via the parentage rule and will be eager to make an impact.

Fantasy signing: Erratic league form saw them beat the promoted Roscommon and lose to Fermanagh by eight points in the space of a week, meaning Brian Dooher's consistency would be a big addition.

Prospects: It doesn't get any harder than a trip to play the All-Ireland champions in their own back yard, but that's just how Clare start their campaign as they travel to Pairc Ui Chaoimh to face Cork. Just three wins in Division Four points to a short summer for the Banner.

Betting: Munster 100/1, All-Ireland 750/1.

First game: v Cork, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Sunday, May 22.

All-Ireland titles: 7 (reigning champions)

Munster titles: 36 (2009)

Manager: Conor Counihan (4th season)

Captain: Graham Canty

Last Year: Kerry 0-15, Cork 0-15 (Munster semi-final); Kerry 1-15, Cork 1-14 (replay); Cork 1-19, Cavan 0-4; Cork 0-12,Wexford 0-5; Cork 0-16, Limerick 1-11; Cork 1-16, Roscommon 0-10; Cork 1-15, Dublin 1-14; Cork 0-16, Down 0-15 (All-Ireland final).

2011 NFL: 2nd Div 1 (W5, L2). Champions.

Last big championship achievement: All-Ireland champions 2010.

Key man: After an unsure start to his championship career last season, Aidan Walsh blossomed further with every championship outing last year and was superb in the All-Ireland final.

Who could make a name for himself? Cork's ultra-competitive squad makes if difficult for new faces to make the breakthrough, but Sean Kiely's promising Sigerson Cup campaign with UCC suggests he has a big future ahead of him.

Fantasy signing: Extremely difficult to pinpoint any weakness in the Cork squad and after the U-21 side hammered Kerry in the Munster final, it seems there is plenty of fresh talent in the county.

Prospects: A year ago they were the great pretenders, but having finally secured an All-Ireland title, Cork look like a side that could do some damage over the next few years. Given how they've suffered at Kerry's hands, beating the Kingdom in Croke Park on the way to another Sam Maguire will be on the 'to do' list. Worthy favourites.

Betting: Munster 4/5, All-Ireland 11/4.

First game: v Clare, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Sunday, May 22.

All-Ireland titles: 36 (2009)

Munster titles: 73 (2010)

Manager: Jack O'Connor (3rd season)

Captain: Colm Cooper

Last Year: Kerry 0-15, Cork 0-15 (Munster final); Kerry 1-15, Cork 1-14 (replay); Kerry 1-17, Limerick 1-14; Down 1-16, Kerry 1-10 (All-Ireland quarter-final).

2011 NFL: 3rd Div 1 (W5, L2).

Last big championship achievement: 2010 Munster champions.

Key man: Paul Galvin is irreplaceable for Kerry.

Who could make a name for himself? David Geaney kicked four points against Cork on his league debut earlier this year.

Fantasy signing: David Moran's injury could hardly have come at a worse time as he was just starting to find his feet in the Kerry midfield. Jack O'Connor has other options but, with a dearth of traditional midfielders out there, Limerick's John Galvin would help fill the gap.

Prospects: The age profile of Kerry's squad has been called into question but it's too early to write them off just yet. Colm Cooper was superb during the league, while Paul Galvin and Declan O'Sullivan were eased back into action. Will have to beat Tipperary and Limerick to set up a probable Munster final date with Cork but, as ever, Kerry are looking towards the business end of the season. Unlikely to be ambushed like they were in last year's quarter-final.

Betting: Munster 6/5, All-Ireland 10/3.

First game: v Tipperary, Killarney, Sunday, May 22.

All-Ireland titles: 2 (1896)

Munster titles: 1 (1896)

Manager: Maurice Horan (1st season)

Captain: Barry Fitzpatrick

Last Year: Limerick 1-17, Waterford 1-9; Kerry 1-17, Limerick 1-14 (Munster final); Cork 0-16, Limerick 1-11 (aet, fourth round qualifier).

2011 NFL: 7th Div 3 (W3, L4). Relegated.

Last big championship achievement: 1896 All-Ireland winners .

Key man: As long as John Galvin (right) is around, he'll be key for Limerick. Had basketball commitments earlier this year which disrupted his league campaign but is fully focused now. Was nothing short of heroic in last year's Munster final.

Who could make a name for himself? Eoghan O'Connor has impressed this season with his keen eye for scores.

Fantasy signing: There's no faulting Limerick's application in the last few years -- it should have yielded a provincial title. But they lacked valuable experience in pressurised situations where the cool head of Declan O'Sullivan might have seen them home.

Prospects: Will have to beat both Kerry and Cork this year if they are to earn the Munster title their efforts in recent years deserve. Relegation back to Division 4 is a blow, but Limerick have been extremely competitive by the time championship has rolled around in recent years.

Betting: Munster 12/1, All-Ireland 66/1.

First game: v Kerry/Tipperary, Gaelic Grounds, Saturday, June 4.

All-Ireland titles: 4 (1920)

Munster titles: 9 (1935)

Manager: John Evans (4th season)

Captain: Barry Grogan

Last year: Kerry 2-18, Tipperary 2-6 (Munster quarter-final); Tipperary 0-13, Laois 0-12; Dublin 1-21, Tipperary 1-13 (second round qualifiers).

2011 NFL: 6th Div 3 (W3, L4).

Last big championship achievement: Tommy Murphy Cup win 2005.

Key man: Skipper Barry Grogan's influence on this team continues to grow.

Who could make a name for himself? Johnny Cagney played a key role around the middle third for Tipp in the league.

Fantasy signing: Firepower is required, as only Cavan and Antrim scored less in the top three divisions. Donegal's Michael Murphy fits the bill perfectly.

Prospects: A Division 2 team last year, they narrowly avoided a return to the basement league this time around. Mixed the good with the bad this season, and a trip to Killarney is daunting as it's a fixture they lost by 12 points last year. Showed in 2010 that they are a team to be avoided in the qualifiers when they ousted Laois.

Betting: Munster 100/1, All-Ireland 400/1.

First game: v Kerry, Killarney, Sunday, May 22.

waterford

All-Ireland titles: 0

Munster titles: 1 (1898)

Manager: John Owens (2nd season)

Captain: Wayne Hennessey

Last year: Waterford 1-10, Clare 0-9; Limerick 1-17, Waterford 1-9 (Munster semi-final); Offaly 0-15, Waterford 0-10 (second round qualifiers).

2011 NFL: 8th Div 3 (W2, L5). Relegated.

Last big championship achievement: The 2007 win over Clare was something of a breakthrough as it was their first championship success in 19 years.

Key man: Waterford need Patrick Hurney on song.

Who could make a name for himself? Mark Ferncombe showed an eye for goal over the course of the league.

Fantasy signing: Only Mayo and Dublin scored more goals than the Deise in the top three divisions in the league, but they were still relegated, meaning that Waterford's problems are at the other end of the field. Tyrone's trouble-shooter Conor Gormley would be welcomed with open arms.

Prospects: With a trip to Pairc Ui Chaoimh to face All-Ireland champions Cork the most likely prospect for their opener, it's hard for Waterford to seek any solace in the provincial competition. Relegation to Division 4 was a setback. John Owens' men are a difficult proposition at home and they'll be looking for a kind draw in the qualifiers to extend their summer beyond two matches.

Betting: Munster 50/1, All-Ireland 500/1

First game: v Cork/Clare in Pairc Ui Chaoimh or Ennis, Sunday, June 5.

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