O’Hagan hoping Clans can “impose” themselves on the game

Sunday renews a rivalry that peaked half a century ago as Clan na Gael meet Crossmaglen in the Senior Championship.

Not many will give the Clans a chance of upsetting the odds after almost a decade out of the competition.

Barry O’Hagan detailed his clubs chances on The Sideline Eye Podcast this week. He believes the Lurgan team have the physical ability to mix it with the Rangers.

Watch the full podcast with Barry O’Hagan!

The 2002 All-Ireland winner wants to see Clan na Gael physically impose themselves on the game.

“I think we need to put them (Crossmaglen) on the back foot. We will be cagey to begin with just as we feel our way into the game”.

Size matters

“This is probably the biggest Clan na Gael team that I remember. I know our team of the 70s had some big men, but this is easily the biggest and most physical Clan na Gael team that I remember”.

“We have lots of big six-footers, we have big (Shane) McPartland playing around the middle of the field, 6’3 or 6’4.

We have Stefan (Campbell) over 6’2, we have a couple of the Loney brothers well over 6’2, 6’3. Diarmaid O’Hagan 6’2, 6’3”.

Listen to the full podcast with Barry O’Hagan!

Clan na Gael are expected to set up defensively in an attempt to keep the score down, particularly early on.

But ‘Bumpy’ wants to see the Clans go on the “front foot” and pose questions to Stephen Kernan’s side.

“We have big physical players for the first time that I can remember.

So, it’s important that we get on the front foot and try to play our own game as well and try to get Crossmaglen to be thinking about us rather than just playing a plus one and constantly being on the attack”.

“I’m looking forward to it. I do believe the first ten or fifteen minutes will be cagey, but I do expect us to try and set our stall out and physically impose ourselves on the game as well.

As I say, we maybe don’t have the silky footballers that we did have in generations gone by. We have a few, but we are a big, physical, tough enough team. I’m expecting to see us bringing that to the game on Sunday”.

Crossmaglen are tipped to make it through this one, but Clan na Gael won’t be there to just make up the numbers and we could witness a real dogfight.