The first chance to see last year’s All-Ireland hurling champions Clare in action in 2014 will not be until next weekend.
But Tony Kelly and Podge Collins are amongst a collection of the Banner stars from 2013, who will be making their competitive bow for this season today in the Waterford Crystal Cup.
Clare play Limerick at the quarter-final stage next weekend yet today members of Davy Fitzgerald’s side are part of colleges teams in action in the competition.
Fitzgerald himself is involved with Limerick IT, who travel to McDonagh Park in Nenagh to play Tipperary in a preliminary round tie. Hurler of the Year Tony Kelly is in the LIT ranks along with Cathal McInerney who came on as a substitute regularly for the Clare senior last summer.
Clare senior panel members Jamie Shanahan and Peter Duggan, who also won Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U21 medals last September, are also involved with LIT.
Elsewhere UL, managed by Clare defensive great Brian Lohan, face Waterford in Carriganore. From Clare’s starting side last September Podge Collins and Conor Ryan are members of the UL panel, as is Seadna Morey who came on as a late substitute in the final replay win over Cork.
Last year’s Clare U21 hurling winning captain Paul Flanagan is also in the UL setup along with fellow U21 winners Jack Browne and Cathal Malone.