Friday 19 January 2018

Clare surprise as Griffin opts not to make return under Sparrow's wing

Tony Griffin (front) willl not return to the Clare hurling squad
Tony Griffin (front) willl not return to the Clare hurling squad
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Tony Griffin has turned down an invitation to return to the Clare hurling squad.

New manager Ger 'Sparrow' O'Loughlin staged his first official training session last night but there was no sign of Griffin who has told the management that he is sticking by his original decision.

However, Gerry Quinn, who was dropped from the squad during last season for an apparent breach of discipline, has agreed to return.

Niall Gilligan was also due to convey a decision on his future to the new management ahead of last night's start.

There has been speculation that Gilligan would retire once the storm over Mike McNamara's management had abated but he has been invited back.

Whether O'Loughlin would accede to a request by Gilligan for more time remains to be seen.


Griffin announced his retirement at the height of the management rumble stating he could not continue to give time to something he didn't truly believe in. He also expressed a lack of confidence in the management set-up.

It was taken that once McNamara had moved on Griffin would return but in the last week he has held firm on his original decision.

Griffin has become involved in Sports Academy International and on retiring last November stressed that work commitments had also played a part in his decision.

Still only 28, Griffin has struggled to regain his best hurling form in recent years since taking a year out to cycle across Canada in aid of a cancer charity.

Quinn missed most of last season after being jettisoned by McNamara but was present at the first meeting the players held to coordinate their strategy to oppose McNamara.

O'Loughlin and his selectors, Danny Chaplin and Liam Doyle, met with the players last week and spelled out implicitly the standards of discipline that they now expect.

Irish Independent

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