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Ger O'Loughlin Interview

posted 12 Jan 2011, 14:16 by Unknown user   [ updated 12 Jan 2011, 14:22 by Denis Tuohy Agricultural Consultant ]
Clare boss Ger O’Loughlin has described the loss of last year’s team captain Brian O’Connell who has emigrated to Australia, as a 
massive blow ahead of their 2011 campaign.

The 26 year-old Wolfe Tones player has been forced to leave due to a shortage of engineering work locally and O’Loughlin admits it he 
is a huge loss to a squad that is largely made up of young and inexperienced players. 

"We only have about half a dozen experienced players and you definitely need all of them to bring the new guys on. It’s a massive blow
 that a player like Brian is no longer going to be with us. The circumstances were that Brian had very little work last year and he got an 
opportunity to go to Australia for a couple of months in October. He came back in mid-December and we met to have a chat about it. 
Unfortunately he had little appetite to stay around, so he decided to head back to a place where he has work." 

Clare make their seasonal bow next Sunday in Sixmilebridge when they entertain IT Tralee in the preliminary round of the Waterford Crystal Cup. 
O’Loughlin will be forced to operate without 14 members of his squad for the pre-season competition as they are involved with third-level outfits. 

O’Loughlin is concerned about the hectic schedule those young talents face with college and county over the coming months, and believes 
the upcoming programme is further evidence of the damage caused by the GAA’s training ban in November and December. 

"This ridiculous ban means players can’t do anything before Christmas. But then when January comes, they’re expected to come back and 
go flat out for  a variety of teams. That’s how they pick up injuries and I’m seeing the hamstring and calf strains incurred by members of our squad, 
being picked up by the college lads. It’s not ideal that we won’t have them available before the league but we have to appreciate that the 
colleges get priority." 

O’Loughlin will also be without new captain Pat Vaughan for next weekend’s fixture as he continues to battle a long-term groin injury.
 It is hoped that the Crusheen defender will recover in time for Clare’s opening NHL Division 2 game against Limerick on February 13. 
Newcomers Conor McGrath, Cathal McInerney and Liam Markham are all unavailable for this Sunday’s clash as they are travelling to 
Barcelona with their club Cratloe, but O’Loughlin  is set to use the IT Tralee game as an opportunity to run the rule over the likes of Danny Morey (Sixmilebridge), Mark Earley (Tubber), and Broadford duo James Gunning and Cathal Chaplin.