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Evan Talty: Clare will need ferocious work-rate against Kerry

By Aidan Delaney

Clare Ladies football manager Evan Talty told The Backdoor GAA his county will be going to Killarney in hope rather than expectation.

Clare come into the game after winning two of their opening league games before suffering losses to Cork and Mayo.

A disappointing end to the Division 2 campaign for Colm Collins’ side means the hype has been dampened around the visitors but Talty feels the side showed real progression in their four games.

“It was a hugely positive campaign overall. Probably the best football I’ve seen Clare play in a long time. It was a real attacking brand with the likes of David Tubridy and Eoin Cleary chipping in with some unbelievable scores throughout the league.

“Any time you go to Newbridge and win is a huge day, we beat Laois pretty handily and probably should have beaten Cork as well so overall they’d have to be really happy with their performances.”

Tubridy has been one of the bright sparks this year with his 1-8 against Rebels catching the eye of football fans right around the country. Now into his 15th year, he’s fast becoming a player to watch this summer despite a decade and a half under the radar. Talty knows the Doonbeg man well from the club scene.

“Yeah I’d have come up against David playing for Kilmurry Ibrickane. He always had those two excellent feet which makes him really hard to tie down. He always pops up in the right areas and anything in 40-50 yards anywhere on the pitch is within his range. He’s probably playing as well as he ever has.”

Talty is under no illusions when it comes to the opposition at the weekend. A renewed Kerry who know they left a Munster behind them will be out for revenge and they’ve left their mark in Division 1. “Formidable” is the word that Evan reaches for when trying to make sense of a side that has scored 75 points combined in 3 games.

“From what I’ve seen so far, they really seem to be going for an attacking brand of football with the runners coming from everywhere. You’ve got Gavin White in the half backs with Paul Murphy and Paul Geaney’s back playing good football and Dara Moynihan seems to have taken on a new role in there too. And David Clifford is at his usual as well.”

Ah yes, the Boy Wonder. How do you stop the 6ft2 juggernaut who scored 6-22 in the league and provides a focal point for everything good about the Kingdom’s offence? What would the Ladies Football boss put the shackles on him?

“No defender is going to be good enough to mark him one on one. The big thing for me is the pressure they put on Kerry out the field. They’ll have to cut off the supply while at the same time accepting that he’s going to score 3 or 4 points. If Clare sit back in huge numbers, Kerry will just pick them apart but I think they have to have ferocious work rate out around the middle to shut down David Moran from finding David inside.”

Despite the progress made, Clare are in danger of becoming the nearly men. They’ve watched Tipperary win a provincial decider last year and will want some of that success. Collins has brought them on immensely but there may be a certain disquiet if they can’t prove themselves worthy of getting a result against Kerry. Talty isn’t convinced that this could be one last throw of the dice for the manager.

“It’s a bit like the Brian Cody situation, however long Colm wants the job it’ll be his because he’s absolutely maximising everything to the 100% of their potential. Within Clare, Colm would be hugely respected and there’s huge admiration from every club in the county for the job he’s doing. If you look at where Clare were for a long time, playing the likes of Offaly and Wicklow now they’re targeting Mayo and the top 6/7 teams in the country. So no, I would be hoping that Colm would stay on.”

You feel that he’ll need to get more than 100% potential from his lads on Saturday but can look back to Cork’s Munster win for inspiration when they head down to Fitzgerald stadium.

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