Croker absence is 'irking' Clare people, says Daly

May 18, 2018

Clare's Padraic Collins and Shane O'Donnell celebrate their side's All-Ireland SHC final replay victory over Cork in 2013.
©INPHO/Donall Farmer.

Anthony Daly admits Clare's absence from Croke Park since beating Cork after a replay to win the 2013 All-Ireland SHC title has been a huge source of frustration for the county.

Many had expected the Banner to go on and win more All-Irelands, but they haven't come close to achieving that. 

"You're watching the replay in '13 and all the bunting going up over Drumcondra on a Saturday night, a glorious Saturday night, and to think we wouldn't be in the stadium, to this day?" the 1995 and '97 All-Ireland winning captain said in the Irish Independent ahead of Clare's Munster SHC opener against Cork on Sunday. 

"That would have been incredulous for us. To see the U21s winning (against Antrim in the All-Ireland final). Like, to tell a Clare person that night, 'you won't be there until 2018'?

"That's the bit I think that's irking the Clare man on the street, why can't we get back there? I didn't win a thing over them (as manager between 2004 and 2006) but every year we were in Croke Park. We made the semi-finals two years and a quarter-final.

"We were lucky to get the quarter-final in Croke Park (2004), but we still drew with Kilkenny there that year. It's not easy but certainly, we should not have been five years out of Croke Park with the players that are there. To say that Tony Kelly wouldn't play in Croke Park (for the county) again, Colm Galvin, Conor McGrath, these guys, David McInerney? They're too good not to be in the great cauldron and Clare people are dying to get back there."

Daly accepts there's now a real danger of the 2013 All-Ireland SHC winning team and the three-in-a-row All-Ireland U21 winning sides of 2012, '13 and '14 never realising their potential.

"People would look at winning three U21s with the boys more than 2013. I think the book has been closed on 2013. It's just people are saying, 'this is five years on, you were 21, you're 26 (now), where are you?'

"Even Bobby Duggan, my own (Clarecastle) clubmate, heading off for Chicago for three months. For some reason (he) just hasn't clicked into senior and I still would think he should be at that level.

"I see with the club, when we needed him he was magnificent. Some managers fancy some players, we all had that experience both as players and managers, that a certain time comes that you're not in favour with a certain manager and that can happen," he added.

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