Davy O'Halloran, who left the Clare hurling panel last month after refusing to accept what he considered to be a 'humiliating' punishment by the management team, has joined up with the Clare footballers.
O’Halloran was one of three players disciplined by Davy Fitzgerald’s management team for an apparent breach of the panel’s code of conduct, leading to both himself and Nicky O’Connell leaving the squad.
It is understood that O’Connell issued an apology to his teammates over the weekend and has since returned to the panel but O’Halloran doesn’t feel he would be able to work with Fitzgerald again.
Instead, as signalled during the league campaign, he has joined up with Colm Collins’ football squad as they prepare for a Munster championship date with Limerick on May 23rd.
Team captain Gary Brennan has said O'Halloran will be treated "the same as any player on the panel; if they need to be helped out then we'll help them out."
As for his new manager, the situation has now turned into a case of “one door closed and another one opens.”
O’Halloran will take part in training with the squad this week. “He’s a really good footballer, hopefully with one door closing another has opened and he can grab the opportunity,” said Collins.
“This week is our first week back - we took a week off after the league.
“Obviously he is an excellent footballer and we know our only agenda is that we want the best footballers on the pitch for the Clare footballers so when somebody of his talent becomes available you obviously would like to have him in - so for me there was no big decision to made.
“I’ve known him a long time and he’s a great young fella and we are absolutely delighted to have him on board - he’s an excellent guy in every way, he’s a super player and we’re delighted to have him. “
Asked whether he had spoken to O’Halloran about his experience with the hurling panel Collins said: “No, my own business is the football panel and I don’t care what happens anywhere else. My only focus is on our panel and doing things right in our panel so I have no interest whatsoever in getting involved in that.
“Whatever happened in the hurling panel is none of my business, I’m not part of their set up.
“I’m quite sure that Davy (O’Halloran) himself would just like to draw a line under the whole thing and do what he does best which is sports because he’s an extremely talented young man in quite a lot of areas.
“I’d say that’s all Davy wants to do now is to keep his head down and start enjoying his football.”
Clare midfield general Brennan echoed his manager’s enthusiasm at having the former All-Ireland senior winning hurler on board with the captain also explaining that no-one is bound by a code of conduct.
“We have expectations of one another but we don’t have a code of conduct,” Brennan explained. “Anyone who’s willing to make a commitment to Clare football and is willing to work hard for the panel we’re only delighted to have them on board.”
O'Halloran now joins the other ex-hurlers involved in the football panel including former All Star Podge Collins.
Upon Nicky O’Connell’s return to the hurling squad it had been reported that Podge Collins may also be on course for a similar return, a notion that has been dismissed by his manager and father: “He’s his own man, he’s 23-years-of-age but no not to my knowledge, and I’d be very surprised to be quite honest.”