Football championship 2018: Munster county-by-county guide

Seán Moran’s guide to the challenge from the south

 

Clare

Manager: Colm Collins (5th year)
Odds: All-Ireland 150/1; Munster 100/1
Next up: v Limerick, Gaelic Grounds, 19th May, 7.0
Colm Collins’s unparalleled record of improving Clare’s league standing in each of his five years in charge culminated in finishing third in this year’s Division Two. With a variety of departures, he has introduced new players and the panel is now deeper. On Kerry’s side of the draw – for the third year running – but qualifier record is good.

Cork’s Kevin Crowley. Photograph: Inpho/Tommy Dickson
Cork’s Kevin Crowley. Photograph: Inpho/Tommy Dickson

Cork

Manager: Ronan McCarthy (1st year)
Odds: All-Ireland 40/1; Munster 4/1
Next up: v Tipperary/Waterford, Semple Stadium/Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 26th May, 7.0/2nd June, 3.0.
It was never going to be a straightforward road back for the team and new management. Nemo’s club run didn’t help the league campaign but freed up places for an experimental season, which ended in the same conversation as relegation but without incident. Critical likely match with Tipperary but progress will be measured by reaching the Super 8s.

Kerry’s David Clifford takes on Jonny Cooper. Photograph: Inpho/Bryan Keane
Kerry’s David Clifford takes on Jonny Cooper. Photograph: Inpho/Bryan Keane

Kerry

Manager: Eamonn Fitzmaurice (6th year)
Odds: All-Ireland 9/2; Munster 3/10
Next up: v Limerick/Clare, Fitzgerald Stadium, 3rd June, 3.30
Eamonn Fitzmaurice trialled in earnest during the league using three dozen players and the championship team could have up to five rookies. David Moran needs to regain full fitness and the youthful additions of David Clifford and Seán O’Shea will add promise to the attack. Munster looks unhindered and the Super 8s will assist a developing team.

Limerick manager Billy Lee
Limerick manager Billy Lee

Limerick

Manager: Billy Lee (2nd year)
Odds: All-Ireland 2500/1; Munster 150/1
Next up: v Clare, Gaelic Grounds.19th May, 7.0
Limerick’s descent continued into the bottom three of the league. Billy Lee set out at the start of the year without 16 players from last season between retirement, career commitments and assorted unavailability. It’s six years since they won a match in Munster, although they ran Clare to within a score in each of the last three years.

Tipperary’s Michael Quinlivan. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie
Tipperary’s Michael Quinlivan. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

Tipperary

Manager:  Liam Kearns (3rd year)
Odds: All-Ireland 80/1; Munster 15/2
Next up: v Waterford, Semple Stadium, 19th May, 7.0
In the expected event of beating Waterford, Tipp are unsurprisingly fuming over the enforced six-day turnaround before facing Cork. They were more than competitive in Division Two and but for losing winning positions against promoted Roscommon and Cavan, would have gone up themselves. There are no injury concerns and only Dublin scored more in the league.

Waterford’s Maurice O’Gorman and Thomas O’Gorman
Waterford’s Maurice O’Gorman and Thomas O’Gorman

Waterford

Manager: Tom McGlinchey (3rd year)
Odds: All-Ireland 2500/1; Munster 250/1
Next up: v Tipperary, Semple Stadium, 19th May, 7.00
A combination of frustration and disappointment for manager Tom McGlinchey: he lost half a dozen of the team that took Cork to the brink last year, including long-term injury victim Paul Whyte, the team’s leading forward;  the league campaign was flat and then abbreviated when fixtures were lost to the weather. A fired-up Tipp await next weekend.

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