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Anthony Daly: 'They want to play in it'
By Cian O'Connell
Anthony Daly laughs when recalling his introduction to the Munster panel in the 1990s.
"Lads know each other much better now, I can remember my first time going into Munster training in Boherlahan," Daly chuckles. "I was on my own, my brother dropped me down. Loads in the dressing room. Ill never forget it, Mick Ryan, the Tipp manager said, sit down here Anthony because we were the same age, minor and under-21. Mortified walking in.
"Its gas now the way they know each other so well. Mingling freely after at the food in the canteen in Dr Morris Park, two Waterford fellas, two Tipp fellas. Its gas the way times change."
What hasn't altered, though, is Daly's fondness for the game and the Inter-Provincial competition. "With the best will in the world, even in my time the crowds werent turning out," Daly admits.
"In the years I played in it, I found that if it went to a provincial place it had a better chance. We still always wanted to play. We were kinda disappointed if you werent asked.
"When Clare were going well, maybe six or seven asked to be part of the Munster panel and youd be, I didnt get a call for that at all.
"There still is that bit of pride with lads. They want to play in it. Looking forward to it. Tail-end of the year. The Tipp lads have had a savage year. Awards, medals hanging off them.
"For other lads who havent had a great year, might be nice to finish up with something positive."
For the past four weeks Munster players have gathered in Thurles and Daly is delighted to be involved. "Its not overly time intensive. You cant be expecting lads to come to Thurles three nights a week. So weve tried for one night a week, four sessions. We got a great response, 20 at training, seven excused between colleges, league finals and stuff on Tuesday night.
"In fairness to the players, Tommy Dunne was taking the warm-up and I was saying to John Mullane, youre looking out at Seamie Callanan passing it to Cian Lynch passing it to Shane Fives, that kind of thing. In fairness to them, theyre really honoured to play in it, have a great commitment to it."
Gerry O Connor and Donal Moloney will manage Clare in 2017.
In October Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor were appointed joint managers of Clare after Daly withdrew from the running to succeed Davy Fitzgerald.
"It came out of the blue," Daly recalls. "Couldnt see Davy going. All of a sudden, when they werent appointed, there was a board meeting on a Tuesday night, it was deferred. Then the talk started that he might be thinking of quitting.
"Straight away there was clubs saying have you any interest? I thought, I dont know whats going to happen. Then theres clubs on to you then to know would you be interested in being nominated. If you said no there and then you were out. I said, yeah, sure, nominate me.
"I talked to a few people, spoke to Brian Lohan. We both were interested. Then you sort of knew the lads were very interested as well.
"We met and wed a pot of coffee and we just said we didnt want to be going down the dividing people route. Obviously, there would be a ferocious gra as well for the two boys for all theyve achieved as joint managers at minor and under-21.
"Youd be friendly with them as well. Brian worked with them at minor level. I would have played with Donal, played against him so it didnt feel right to be going against them. So we said wed wish them the best of luck."
Daly reckons that Moloney and O'Connor deserve an opportunity to lead Clare at the highest level. Yeah, and that was everywhere," Daly says. "That was in the county as well. I had been manager. But I suppose in fairness to Brian as well, he has a Fitzgibbon won and a club title with Cratloe.
I took it on when I was young. I was only finished when I went back doing it. Youd always like to think youd get another shot at it and maybe we will.
But yeah, definitely the boys were ready for it as well. Natural progression. But maybe there was an inkling with ourselves: were the boys interested? Paul Kinnerk had been announced as a selector and coach with Limerick at that stage so we werent sure really.
But well be 100 per cent behind the boys. Theyd be the finest types. Theyll have massive backing.
Daly took satisfaction from his coaching role with the Limerick minor team, who were beaten by Tipperary in September's All Ireland Final. It was fantastic to be here with the minors. We put up a great display. It was a great Tipp minor team and they gave us a real trimming in the Munster final and the lads really improved in the eight or nine weeks.
It was great because I hadnt been back here being involved on All-Ireland Final day since 97, bar doing a bit of punditry.
Anthony Daly celebrates with Limerick minor manager Pat Donnelly following their All Ireland Semi Final win over Dublin.
Is Daly surprised at how the Dublin panel has changed significantly personnel wise under Ger Cunningham since leaving the position at the end of the 2014 Championship? When I was quitting, I wouldnt have forecast it, in other ways, I can understand a little bit Gers thinking," Daly reflects.
He had to come in to freshen it. I wouldnt have seen it like that. And I suppose people might have accused us of hanging on to the same fellas.
But you have to remember, in our time scale, we won in 13 that was year five. We won Leinster, that was the one we were craving all along.
The draw is made for 2014 and you go down and play Wexford in Wexford and we play great stuff. We dont go so well then here in the Leinster Final and then were playing Tipp in Thurles.