GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Podge Collins backs 'legend' Brian Lohan for Clare job
Last Updated: 31/10/19 8:26am
Clare hurler Podge Collins has backed Brian Lohan as the right man to lead the Banner forward.
Lohan is the sole remaining nominee for the role, after the withdrawal of Louis Mulqueen, and the two-time All-Ireland winner is expected to be named as manager for the year ahead.
"Going on 2019, there's a lot to improve on from a Clare hurling point of view," said Collins at Saturday's GAA Youth Forum in partnership with Sky Sports. "I'm sure Brian Lohan will be looking back on 2019 and putting a plan in place to try and improve Clare hurling for the year ahead, and to hopefully be competing at the top level which we want to be doing.
Subscribe to GAA alerts!
We'll send you push notifications so you'll receive all of the big GAA news!
"He's been there as a player and a manager. He's done it with UL. He was in our own club Cratloe and he was very good to have around.
"[He's] obviously a legend in Clare and everyone is very familiar with him."
"Hard to find a better man for the job"
Collins is enthusiastic about the impending appointment
Collins and his Clare team-mates will be gunning to get back into action, after an underwhelming 2019 campaign.
"[It was] definitely a frustrating year, and it's even more frustrating because the year before we got to an All-Ireland semi-final," lamented Collins.
"Getting such bad beatings off Limerick and Tipperary was very disappointing for us as players, for anyone that's playing sport, getting beaten like that really knocks the wind out of you. Especially in Cusack Park, Tipperary coming to town, and beating us by how much they did."
Collins, a former dual star for Clare, will represent the Banner in only hurling in 2020. One of the last players in the country to attempt marrying two codes at senior intercounty level, he ultimately found it was unsustainable.
"I knew I had to give it up," he explained. "I was making too many mistakes, more so in football training than hurling training. I wasn't getting into good positions, and lads were like, 'Why weren't you here, why weren't you there? Why didn't you do this or that?'
"When you see other players on the field getting frustrated with you, that's very frustrating yourself. That's when I knew I couldn't keep missing these meetings or these tactical talks and video analysis and all that stuff that goes with it.
"I just had to make a decision and that's it."
For anyone pursuing both codes, he offered a word of advice.
"What I'd say to a dual player that's facing a dilemma, be it at U14, 15, 16 all the way up to senior, is to manage yourself as best you can. You're not a machine. You can't keep going every week. Even if you think you can.
"The manager wants what's best for the team. He wants the team to win, the club to win, and the county to do well. He just wants the best players on the field. So if you're getting calls from different managers and all that, you're probably starting on the teams. So you have to look after your own body. And if you don't look after it, nobody else will."