David McInerney eyes Clare progress
Full-back says team is extremely motivated to build on All-Ireland success
Clare’s David McInerney. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
There were contrasting Croke Park memories of 2013 at the launch of the GAA season tickets for next year. Clare’s David McInerney has hardly been out of the place between his county’s spectacular run to All-Ireland hurling success after a replayed final, last weekend’s presentation of the All Stars and yesterday’s function.
Ironically for someone who says he’s afraid of heights and roller-coasters, McInerney’s season ended in the former and along the way featured plenty of the latter in a year that swung from the relief of winning a relegation play-off against Cork to the disappointment of losing to them in a Munster semi-final to ending the season with accelerating momentum.
For one of last year’s football All Stars, visits to headquarters have been rare and painful in recent months. Donegal goalkeeper Paul Durcan saw his team lose their All-Ireland title in August amidst a barrage of Mayo goals and returned in September to watch Dublin succeed his team as champions.
“Yeah, like the pain after the Mayo defeat was hard to take and it’s something that we have to embrace as a dressing-room.
“It’s something we’ll hope to go back to and think about why that happened, you know, when you’re in a dressing-room and it’s breaking point and something that will encourage you on is to go back and think about that day. It’s something that I suppose you have to use to your advantage as well.”
The year has been more of a whirl for McInerney, who won both senior and (a second) under-21 All-Irelands with Clare. He says his ambitions a year ago ended up falling well short of reality.
“Just to get my place on the panel with the senior team. Davy Fitz gave me a phone call last year and he said he’d bring me in. He was cutting a few lads in February. Basically back then I just wanted to improve my hurling even further and bulk up a small bit. But I’d no intentions of being anywhere near a starting place in the league or championship. I got lucky and managed to weave my way in.
“I suppose with the Waterford Crystal a few lads would be playing with the colleges so I got a chance. I realised I was able to mix it up with these guys and mark a few guys. Then in the league, I started corner-back against Waterford but our full-back that day was injured for the next day. I was thrown in full-back against Galway and I’d a good game that day. I got confidence from that and went on from there.”
McInerney says the team is fiercely motivated to maintain its focus for the defence of its All-Ireland.
“In fairness to Fitzy [manager David Fitzgerald] and his backroom team, they won’t fall for complacency. They’ll be working on us mentally as well. The fact that we’re so young, people might think we’ll get carried away but this group of lads are a small bit different.
“They always rise on the big days in my opinion anyway. We really need to push on. Otherwise it’ll be seen as a fluke year. None of us want that. We have motivational factors. We definitely want to give it our best next year.”
GAA season ticket
Finally, it is the sixth year of the GAA season ticket, which offers entry to all of your county’s league matches in either football or hurling. It also entitles the holder to purchase a ticket for their county’s championship matches and if he or she attends 60 per cent of the league and championship fixtures, a guaranteed ticket for the All-Ireland final should the county qualify.
Dublin stand tickets have sold out for next year although there are a number of terrace still available.
According to the GAA press release:
The base price of €85 for adults and €10 for juveniles provides access to the following games for your selected county and code (hurling or football);
Allianz League matches in the selected code including semi-finals, finals or relegation play-offs.
AIB GAA Club Championship Finals on St. Patrick’s Day in Croke Park.
AIB GAA Club Junior and Intermediate All-Ireland Finals in selected code.
Further special offers for various GAA fixtures.
Bring a friend (a friend can join you in the season ticket section subject to availability of space).