"We were never playing for Clare, we were playing for Colm Collins" - captain pays emotional tribute to manager
Colm Collins says that he's looking forward to watching Clare without the 'pumping of the heart.'
The GAA's longest serving manager stepped aside on Sunday, after a defeat to Derry knocked Clare out of the All-Ireland senior football championship.
Collins was appointed as Clare football manager in 2013, leading the county to some famous wins over the course of the last decade.
It's likely that none will be remembered as fondly as last year's win over Roscommon, when a late Jamie Malone scored sent them through to the All-Ireland quarter finals.
The Banner can also look to a great win over Cork in Munster this year. They had some tremendous days under Collins.
"I stood down after the match, I told the players after the match," said the Cratloe man in an interview with RTÉ's Damian Lawlor.
"I've done my term and I think it's time for someone else to take up the baton now.
"I think there's a fabulous group of players there and now I'm looking forward to watching them without the pumping of the heart."
"I'm looking forward to watching them without the pumping of the heart"
Colm Collins on his decision to end his long tenure as Clare senior football manager
📺Watch the #SaturdayGame live: https://t.co/HbvpoI7sDV #RTEGAA pic.twitter.com/ejZFhYSS8j
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) June 17, 2023
Clare captain Eoin Cleary paid a powerful tribute to Collins on Sunday morning.
"You gave us hope. You made us dream. You filled us with confidence," he tweeted.
"The ultimate players manager. Thank you for everything Colm, you are a special man. As the old saying goes, we were never playing for Clare, we were playing for Colm Collins."
You gave us hope.
You made us dream.
You filled us with confidence.
The ultimate players manager 🙌.Thank you for everything Colm, you are a special man. As the old saying goes, we were never playing for Clare we were playing for Colm Collins💛💙. pic.twitter.com/BbjHU0ABQ2
— Eoin Cleary (@Smiley_014_) June 18, 2023
Tomás Ó Sé also hailed the legendary manager on The Sunday Game.
"I think he's a winner. He changed the attitude. They were in Division Four when he came in. He made them believe, he made them tactically a better team, he made them a hard team to play against.
"He brought them to Croke Park. He encapsulates the Clare spirit but with the intelligence of the modern game. The players bought into him, he was a pure player's man," added Ó Sé.
"He had the respect of everyone in the country, he was a football man."
Clare had started well in their clash with Derry, with an Emmett McMahon shooting them into the lead after 22 minutes. The teams were level at 1-6 to 0-9 at half-time but with Shane McGuigan to the fore, Derry kicked home to win by six.
Collins' departure leaves Armagh's Kieran McGeeney as the longest serving manager in the game, with Limerick's John Kiely close behind.
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