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Daly wants to bring in money men.

Clare captain Anthony Daly would welcome some form of professionalism in the GAA. But he does not believe it will come during his time at the top.

As the Banner skipper gets ready for two of the biggest days of his life in the next week (he gets married next Friday to Eilis Murphy) he admits that the demands on players are becoming too great for some form of reward not to be permitted. Said Daly: "It's not possible for players to keep going without getting anything substantial for their efforts.

"We have talked about this before and it's true. The demands are so much greater.

"You can train three nights a week, once at the weekend and each session could last anything up to two hours.

"Butby the time you have changed, talked and eaten that's up to three and a half hours, maybe four.

"But that doesn't taken in the sacrifices that have to be made, the conditioning required and pressures of matches."

And he warned: "The lifespan of top players is getting shorter and shorter. They're not going to want to do it for much more than five or six years from now on. There is so much at stake now.

"There's a lot of money there now and money is talking in the GAA. It's big business now.

"You only have to look around Croke Park to see that. But how long will the players be prepared to continue to be contened with the odd free drink, the odd free meal and a nice T-shirt on occasions?

"Moves are being made to look after players better and that's great to see. But in time they will just have to take it a stage further."

Daly has proved an inspirational leader for Clare since he took over the role in 1994, a role, ironically, handed to him by current Tipp boss Len Gaynor.

But last winter he felt it was time for a change and the reins were actually handed over to Jamesie O'Connor for a short spell before Ger Loughnane returned and re-appointed the Clarecastle man.

"Even now you wonder about this captaincy role. I don't need to tell, for instance Brian Lohan or Sean McMahon what to do. I have enough to be going about with my own game.

Welcome

"But if a new player was coming into the side I would certainly have a few words with him to make him feel more welcome."

Daly welcomes the fact that Tipperary now rate Clare as genuine rivals.

"Times have changed since I first started playing with Clare in 1989. We were nothing then and wouldn't certainly have been regarded by Tipperary.

"But we have worked hard at it. It's been a slow painful crescendo and I don't see a situation where Clare hurling will slip back to the dark days again.

Daly, who admits to not enjoying big championship matches, believes Tipp are in the driving seat for Sunday's final.

"Believe it or not but this is a strange situation for us. For once we don't have a cause. Other years we had and we became experts at exploiting defeats.

"Now Tipp have that advantage and I know how well it can work for a team," he stressed.

The 27-year-old sports shop proprietor actually feared he would be taken off in the Munster final, 10 minutes into the second half.

"I had a bad 10 minutes after the break and I thought I was going off. But then a number of our players felt the same thing afterwards. The more I think of it the more I start to see that we didn't actually play that well in the Munster final.

"We just got on a roll for 10 or 15 minutes and hurled like Gods."

Can Clare repeat their semi-final form on Sunday?

He said: "It's difficult to know what to expect. We're a better equipped hurling side but there have been times this year when we have been vulnerable.

"If we could start well again I'd reckon we'd be difficult to dislodge."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Keys, Colm
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 12, 1997
Words:679
Previous Article:IT'S SO CLEAR FOR TIPP'S MICHAEL!; Sharp shooter eyes All-Ireland final reward.
Next Article:QUIT THE BOOZE TO HELP US; Hoddle's heartfelt plea to Gascoigne.


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