Sunday 18 August 2019

Surgery rules Shanahan out of Clare's Munster plans

Clare's Jamie Shanahan. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Clare's Jamie Shanahan. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Clare will be without Jamie Shanahan for the Munster SHC after the Banner defender was forced to undergo surgery in recent weeks.

Joint-managers Gerry O'Connor and Donal Moloney will have to plan without Shanahan after he required an operation to alleviate a long-standing back issue which has greatly hindered his preparations in recent months.

The Sixmilebridge defender was an ever-present in the half-back line throughout last summer as Clare fell narrowly short of an All-Ireland final appearance when going down to neighbours Galway in the last four following a pulsating replay.

Shanahan - a member of the extended panel when they last claimed All-Ireland SHC honours six years ago - played no part throughout the league as a result of the injury and is unlikely to feature this year even if they negotiate their way through the provincial series.

His absence is a blow as the Banner are already without suspended centre-back Conor Cleary - who received a straight red card in their league quarter-final defeat to Waterford - and it leaves their defence looking short-handed.

It's not all bad news for O'Connor and Moloney, however, as exciting forward Diarmuid Ryan is expected to return to training this week having broken his knuckle, while midfielder Shane Golden has recovered from a hamstring strain.

Shane O'Donnell is also showing good form since returning from his studies in Harvard, the Éire Óg attacker firing two points in successive club games.

Meanwhile, Kevin O'Brien will remain at the helm with reigning All-Ireland club champions Corofin for the coming season as the Galway kingpins set their sights on history over the coming months.

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While some have come close, no team in either code has accomplished an All-Ireland three-in-a-row in the near 50-year history of the club series and that's next on the agenda for a Corofin side which has been widely acclaimed as one of the best club teams of all time.

Corofin have landed three of the last five All-Ireland crowns - Stephen Rochford was in charge in 2015 - and O'Brien will again be assisted by Ger Keane, David Morris, David Comer, Terry Paine, Michael Comer and Joe Canney.

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