Sunday 15 December 2019

'It's like the days of communism behind the Iron Curtain' - Ger Loughnane on the state of Clare hurling

Ger Loughnane (inset) believes Colm Galvin (left) and Tony Kelly (right) can give more for Clare hurling
Ger Loughnane (inset) believes Colm Galvin (left) and Tony Kelly (right) can give more for Clare hurling Newsdesk Newsdesk

Two-time All-Ireland winning manager Ger Loughnane believes his native Clare have failed to build on their 2013 success because of the style of play they've adopted.

Since Davy Fitzgerald led the Banner up the steps of the Hogan Stand five years ago, Clare have not played in Croke Park.

Loughnane believes that Clare have underachieved since lifting Liam MacCarthy because of over-training and the monotonous nature of the sessions.

He also feels that players have been micro-managed and are not free to express themselves and illustrate their creativity.

"The formulaic way in which Clare have been playing for five years now has had a deadening effect," he wrote in his column in today's Irish Daily Star.

"It's like the days of communism behind the iron curtain.

"Everyone on an assembly line doing the same job for the same pay. That just saps the spirit from people.

"Those Clare players should be at their peak, but there has been an unconscious withdrawal of effort."

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The 65-year-old believes the issues in Clare hurling can be solved if the players are given greater freedom on the field.

"I do think that they're such a bright bunch that there'd be no mental scars from the last five years if they were let off the leash," he added.

"The opposite would be the case. If they got back to Croke Park, they'd really come alive again."

Tony Kelly and Colm Galvin performed well in last weekend's league win over Tipperary in Ennis but Loughnane feels they can give more to the team.

"There are players that need to be told some home truths too - like Tony Kelly and Colm Galvin. Their work-rate has to improve.

"Look at the greats in any sport. Look at Henry Shefflin, look at Lionel Messi - hugely talented, but the work they put in is outstanding too."

Clare travel to Nowlan Park on Sunday to take on Kilkenny.

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