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Blow for Fitzgerald as Collins brothers opt for football

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Clare's Podge Collins and his brother Sean will line out with the county's footballers in 2015 after deciding not to continue on in their dual roles. Photo: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

Clare's Podge Collins and his brother Sean will line out with the county's footballers in 2015 after deciding not to continue on in their dual roles. Photo: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

Clare's Podge Collins and his brother Sean will line out with the county's footballers in 2015 after deciding not to continue on in their dual roles. Photo: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

Davy Fitzgerald's bid to return Clare hurling to the top of the pile in 2015 has been dealt a serious blow with the news that both Podge and Sean Collins have opted out of the county panel.

Instead the Cratloe brothers will line out exclusively with the Clare footballers, who are managed by their father Colm.

Both men played a dual role for the Banner in 2014 but it's believed the arrangement wasn't satisfactory to all parties and the brothers have now decided to focus entirely on one code.

It's also understood that there's unlikely to be a arrangement to facilitate dual players in the county this year.

The news comes as a setback for the hurlers as the pair were part of Fitzgerald's panel as they captured last year's All-Ireland.

Podge was an integral cog in the side, earning an All Star award for a series of stunning displays.

The pair also helped Cratloe to a Clare SFC title before going down narrowly to Kerry powerhouse Dr Crokes in the Munster club SFC final.

However, this year hasn't gone as well. Clare lost their All-Ireland title when going down to Wexford in the back door.

The Banner's footballers produced an encouraging display against All-Ireland finalists Kerry before losing out to Kildare by the minimum.

And the additions of the Collins brothers to the panel on a full-time basis is a further boost to football in the county.

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