Home Sport GAA Former Laois footballer set to feature in Clare county final this weekend

Former Laois footballer set to feature in Clare county final this weekend

Billy Sheehan

Cratloe face Kilmurry-Ibrickane in the Clare senior football championship final on Saturday – and a former Laois footballer is set to be involved.

Former Emo and Laois forward Billy Sheehan transferred to the Clare side from St Jude’s of Dublin back in July and has been involved in their run to the final – where they are hoping to lift the Jack Daly Cup for the first time since 2014.

They face Kilmurry-Ibricken who they have been engaged in an almighty duel with – the sides having clashed on 11 championship occasions over the past ten years.

Kilmurry-Ibrickane have won four finals in the last ten years and will be favourites on Saturday.

While after winning back-to-back Championships in 2013 and 2014, Cratloe have a chance to avenge their 2016 loss to the same opposition.

Cratloe are managed by Clare boss Colm Collins and have players like Podge Collins and Conor McGrath.

This is Sheehan’s 24th year playing championship football in a career that has seen him win club titles in Cork, Kerry, Dublin and Laois – playing senior club championship with six different clubs.

Should he take to the field on Saturday, he will also have played in at least one county final in each of the last four decades – 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s.

He made his debut for his home club Austin Stacks in 1997 and went on to play for UCC in Cork.

He won the Cork championship with UCC back in 1999, defeating Nemo Rangers after a replay – and going on to win the Munster club championship.

In 2001, Sheehan was back with Austin Stacks and lost the Kerry final to An Gaeltacht but went on to win a club championship in 2003 with his native club against the same opposition.

In 2006, he won the Dublin decider as a student in UCD against St Vincent’s.

Sheehan was then part of the Emo team that won the Laois IFC title in 2012 before transferring to Jude’s in 2015.

Up there, he was part of the panel when St Jude’s were defeated by Kilmacud Crokes in the 2018 final.

He has also been heavily involved with a number of clubs and counties in a coaching and managerial capacity over the years.

Sheehan managed UCD in 2007, coached Ballyroan-Abbey in 2011 where they lost the IFC decider to Killeshin and in 2019, he managed Palatine in Carlow to the senior final where they were defeated by Eire Og.

Sheehan was part of Peadar Healy’s Cork senior football backroom team during 2016 and 2017 and joined Stephen Wallace at Offaly in 2018.

Between coaching and playing – this is the 32nd club championship campaign that Sheehan has been involved in.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.