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Clonliffe In Europe – Joe’s Army


by Jeremy Lyons After years of success at cross-country there had been a long held desire by Clonliffe Harriers to replicate that success at track and field but year after year there had been disappointments and close calls. But in 2008 Joe Cooper finally led his troops to the National Track and Field League title with success in Tullamore last July.
The reward is a first foray into the European Champion Club’s Cup and Joe has picked an 18 man squad for Sunday’s championship in Slovakia. Joe is cautiously optimistic and sees this as an opportunity for Clonliffe’s athletes to test themselves against the top clubs in Europe. Promotion to the top division may not be realistic this weekend but Joe is seeing this as very much a development exercise with an ambition to push for promotion in years to come (as long of course if they can continue to retain their National league title and thus qualify).

The opposition will be strong with many clubs availing of the rule which allows two overseas competitors compete with Turkish club Fenerbache choosing a 5.82m Ukrainian Pole Vaulter and a 48 second South Africa 400m hurdler as their ‘guests’, both world class athletes. All Clonliffe athletes are Clonliffe members with no guests and this will be a great chance for the younger athletes to get a taste of international competition.

Such sentiments were echoed by Killian Lonergan at last Tuesday’s team meeting when he said “this could be your one and only chance to compete on the international stage so appreciate it and make the most of it”. The squad are completing their preparations this evening (Thursday) in Morton Stadium and fly out at 6am tomorrow.

The full team is:

100m Danny Kavanagh

200m John Laffey

400m John Laffey

800m Conor Healy

1500m Aidan Bailey

3000m Mark Kenneally

3,000m sc Dave Flynn

110H Jeremy Lyons

400H Jeremy Lyons

Long Jump Stephen Commiskey

Triple Jump Marco Matuzzi

High Jump Marcin Klinzow

Pole Vault David Donegan

Shot Luke Mangan

Discus Luke Mangan

Javelin Paul Marry

Hammer Martin Hunt

4 x 100m (from) Alagie Faye, Danny Kavanagh, John Laffey, John Conroy, Stephen Commiskey

4 x 400m (from) John Laffey, John Fagan, Jeremy Lyons, Conor Healy, Mark McDonald.