Latest injury setback rules Clarke out of Grimley's plans


PAUL GRIMLEY has confirmed there is no chance of Ronan Clarke playing for Armagh next year after his latest injury setback.

The 2002 Young Player of the Year, who has been out for over two years with an Achilles tendon injury, sustained a serious ankle ligament injury during his club’s county semi-final win over St Pat’s Cullyhanna two weeks ago.

It means he will play no part in Pearse Óg’s county final clash against All-Ireland champions Crossmaglen on Sunday, and the outlook for his inter-county future is bleak.

When asked whether he would have his fellow Pearse Óg club-mate available to him next year, new Armagh boss Paul Grimley said: “The answer would have to be no. I would have wanted him to play a full season of club football this year before he could consider playing for Armagh and unfortunately he hasn’t been able to do that. In modern times, three years out of football is just a bridge too far. It’s heart-breaking for him and sad that it has worked out this way.”

Clarke (29) was coming on in club games this summer in an attempt to build up his ankle after so long out of the game.

His last outing for Armagh was against Laois in Portlaoise in a league game in 2010 and he has struggled with the Achilles problem ever since.

“It is the other ankle he has damaged this time,” revealed Grimley.

“He’s had a cruel couple of years and he was coming on in games, trying to strengthen up the muscle and tissue in his ankle and now he has injured the other one.

One of Galway’s most famous football dynasties is set to continue on another level with John Donnellan poised to take over as manager of the county’s minor side.

The Donnellans from Dunmore became the first third generation family in Galway to win All-Ireland senior titles when Michael Donnellan was successful in 1998.

John Donnellan joined him on the Galway squad which was victorious in 2001, following in the footsteps of their father John and uncle Pat who were on the Tribesmen side which completed an All-Ireland three-in-a-row in the 1960s. Their grandfather Mick was on the Galway team which won the county’s first All-Ireland title in 1925.

John Donnellan, who moved to the Tuam Stars club some years ago, was expected to be ratified as Galway minor manager last night after previous incumbent Tommie Joyce stepped down following his two years in the post.

Former Limerick and Laois football boss Liam Kearns has ruled out taking over as Clare manager.

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