Saturday 18 November 2017

Dillon is expecting a more 'off the cuff' approach by clare

Outgoing joint-captain Cian Dillon. Photo: Sportsfile
Outgoing joint-captain Cian Dillon. Photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Freedom of expression will be central to Clare's approach under joint-managers Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor, outgoing joint-captain Cian Dillon has emphasised

After All-Ireland and league success under Davy Fitzgerald with a more tactical approach, a licence to play "off the cuff" will be granted, the defender has suggested.

"The new managers are emphasising different things, definitely. They're big on making sure our skill level is as high as it can be and transferring that to game situations. We're looking to hurl off the cuff really, express ourselves, play with that freedom and do what's natural.

"The likes of Podge (Collins) and Tony Kelly can score from anywhere on their day, so it's giving them the licence to express themselves."

He acknowledged it would be a departure from the way they have been playing under Fitzgerald.

"In a sense it was probably a bit more structured. We knew tactically how we needed to set up. But they're giving players licence to see things themselves and go for little channels and holes if they appear."

Dillon said it was no surprise that Fitzgerald stepped down after hearing of the desire of some players to seek change, as he had intimated after the Galway defeat last July that his time might be done.

"He indicated to us after we lost to Galway last year that it was probably time for him to go and he had personal reasons as well, in terms of what he'd been through in the previous month.

"In his head that was it for him. We talked with him throughout the whole process. I wasn't surprised then one bit to learn about him going to Wexford."

As joint-captain it fell to Dillon to convey the news to him.

"We were chatting, it was just a case of him being resigned to the fact anyway."

A terrible record in Munster is again something they are keen to address.

"Our performances haven't been up to standard in the last couple of years, particularly in Munster. I think our record over the past nine or 10 years has been very poor.

"In 2013 it didn't prevent us from progress. We lost a Munster semi-final, but won an All-Ireland, so, in the back of lads' minds, do they think maybe that's not a bad way to go, to go around the long way?"

Irish Independent

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