Saturday 16 December 2017

Daly facing Clare challenge from U-21 duo

Anthony Daly: Strong hand. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Anthony Daly: Strong hand. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Anthony Daly is facing just one challenge in his attempt to become the next Clare manager after nominations closed on Monday evening.

Gerry O'Connor and Donal Moloney will team up to seek the vacancy after outgoing manager Davy Fitzgerald stepped down two weeks ago after five years in charge. Brian Lohan is to join forces with his old defensive colleague Anthony Daly and former Tipperary All-Ireland-winning captain Tommy Dunne, who has had spells coaching his native county and Daly's Dublin, could also be on board too.

O'Connor and Moloney guided Clare to three successive All-Ireland U-21 titles between 2012 and 2014 when a number of the current squad were involved.

Lohan was considered a candidate in his own right, having guided University of Limerick to Fitzgibbon Cup success in 2015 before losing to Mary Immaculate in the final earlier this year.

Daly's potential backroom team gives him a strong hand ahead of the forthcoming process.

But the credentials of the Moloney/O'Connor ticket are also solid. They had Paul Kinnerk on board as coach for their trio of All-Ireland U-21 wins but Kinnerk has since switched to his native Limerick.

Ironically, Moloney works with the same Ringaskiddy-based company in Cork as Dónal óg Cusack, who was with Fitzgerald as coach, and that has led to speculation in Clare that he could be a target for the joint-ticket.

Daly managed Clare for three years from 2004 to 2006 and reached two All-Ireland semi-finals with a group of players who had passed their peak.

He took over Dublin in late 2008 and oversaw sustained progression which yielded a league title in 2011 and a Leinster title in 2013.

He is currently involved with the Limerick underage hurling academy and was with the minor team as they reached this year's All-Ireland but the attraction of taking on Clare again clearly appeals.

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