"Club teams playing all their lives aren't as close as this group" - Clare selector David O'Brien relishing Kerry clash

O'Brien spoke to Clare.fm about their upcoming clash with Kerry


Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Cathal O'Connor's rescinded red card is a massive boost for Clare's upcoming clash with Kerry, says Clare selector David O'Brien. 

The Banner county appear in their first All-Ireland quarter-final this weekend when they face Kerry at Croke Park on Sunday.

Speaking to Clare.fm ahead of the game, O'Brien commended O'Connor's contribution to the panel this year.

"It was great news for Cathal, he's been a massive servant to Clare GAA for the last few years," he said. "He's been outstanding for us this year, probably one of our most consistent so the one thing we didn't want to do was go to Croke Park and play without him.

"We've a better chance of winning a game whenever we have Cathal and for the tackle that was made on the day it's be very unfortunate if he was going to miss an All-Ireland quarter-final over it." 

They go into the game on the back of a hard fought victory over Roscommon and O'Brien was quick to point out that the historic results have been the result of a collective effort in the county in recent years.

"Everyone is vital, in Clare we don't have a massive pool. We have a strong competitive panel and going to Croke Park this year we need everyone going and everyone going in the same direction. They all have a massive part to play so we didn't want to go without any one member of the panel. 

"Things are looking good, the players trained the other night and thinks are looking forward. It's a massive achievement, we probably would have taken people's hands off if we were offered it. Now that we're here we're getting a bit greedy and we want to perform and win."

He went further to say that the spirit within the group is one of the primary reasons they have gone on to achieve such great results both in Musnter and in the All-Ireland series. 

"There's a massive spirit in the panel at the minute, it's like a club team. You have club teams playing together all their lives that probably wouldn't be as close as this Clare group at the minute. 

"They soldiered together over the years in Division Four and Division Three. When it wasn't popular to be a Clare footballer, these lads put their shoulder to the wheel and kept driving.  They're getting their rewards now and the younger players have joined into that."

Kerry and Clare will come face to face at Croke Park on Sunday, and all the action will be live on Off the Ball with a star-studded commentary team. Dave McIntyre will be joined by Kieran McGeeney and Anthony Moyles to analyse what will be a massive day for fans of Clare football, while Mossy Quinn will keep you up to minute with the view from the sideline. 

Here's the Newstalk GAA coverage you can look forward to this weekend 

Saturday: Mayo v Westmeath, 6pm Croke Park: Dave on commentary alongside Conor McManus and Emmet Bolton. Mossy Quinn reports from the sideline.

Sunday: Clare v Kerry, 2pm Croke Park: Dave McIntyre on commentary alongside Kieran McGeeney and Anthony Moyles. Mossy Quinn reports from the sideline.