Ger Loughnane says Clare hurling ‘in disarray’ in letter to county’s supporters

‘The gap between us and our main competitors is widening at a frightening rate’

Former manager Ger Loughnane has described Clare hurling as being in disarray. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Former manager Ger Loughnane has described Clare hurling as being in disarray. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Ger Loughnane has described Clare hurling as being “in disarray” and at risk of toppling “into irrelevance”. In a letter issued on behalf of Club Clare, the 1995 and ’97 All-Ireland-winning manager asks for support to “secure the future of hurling and camogie” in the county.

His comments come amid ongoing controversy concerning an earlier supporters’ club, which has been the subject of queries at county committee for lack of oversight.

Loughnane’s letter acknowledges the controversy. “I fully understand people’s suspicion of supporters clubs due to recent revelations but Club Clare is completely different. Club Clare has both structure and governance.”

The current club, which has no connection with the previous incarnation, is launching a fundraising drive and has also distributed a promotional video, featuring members of Loughnane’s teams, including current manager Brian Lohan.

Loughnane’s letter recalled the “never to be forgotten September” in 2013 when Clare, under Davy Fitzgerald’s management, won the senior All-Ireland and the under-21s were also victorious.

Identifying the latter win as his personal highlight, Loughnane writes: “What made that victory so special was towards the end of the game, Clare youngsters of various ages, girls and boys, seemed to emerge from nowhere and begin lining the perimeter of the field, hurleys in hand, waiting for the game to end.

“There seemed to be thousands of them there and just as the final whistle sounded, they resembled a stream of locusts as they stormed onto the pitch, blotting out the Thurles turf.

“Looking on from the stand, I can still recall the joy I felt and the confidence I had that the future of Clare Hurling was secure. Two weeks later that future looked to be copperfastened when our young team brilliantly captured the MacCarthy Cup. That September we were the envy of every other hurling county in the land.

“Now, less than eight years later, we are in disarray, so much so that the gap between us and our main competitors is widening at a frightening rate. The big worry now is that this gap will develop into a chasm through which we will topple into hurling irrelevance.”

Loughnane goes on to encourage membership of the support group, which costs €50 or €100 for a family.

“I urge you to give Club Clare a chance, give it one year of your support and I am certain that your confidence will be restored.

“It is in time of crisis that we are all most tested and the fact that, in these trying times, such quality people have put their heads above the parapet and are prepared to give the much-needed leadership, gives me hope once again for the future. But they need the help of all of us. I urge you to give them that help.

“Join Club Clare, even if it is just for one year. I have already done so. Through all our efforts, we will secure the future of hurling and camogie in Clare and we will again have glorious days when the Banner will be flying high, as it did in those unforgettable days in the past.”

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