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Injury forces one of Clare's longest serving players to retire from inter-county football

Lissycasey club man Joe Hayes has retired.

EXPERIENCED CLARE FOOTBALL goalkeeper Joe Hayes has brought the curtain down on his inter-county career.

Joe Hayes Joe Hayes first joined the Clare football panel in 2001. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

35-year-old Hayes has been forced to retire due to a hip injury with news of his departure revealed today in The Clare Champion.

The netminder underwent surgery on his hip in 2013 and the problem has hampered him again over the past year.

“It wasn’t taken lightly, a good bit of thought put into it,” Hayes told Clare FM today.

“But at the end of the day to be playing inter-county football, and definitely at the level Clare are at the moment up around Division 2, you need to be at 100% and I’m not next or near it.

“I just felt there was no point continuing, on medical advice I stepped away and retired.”

The Lissycasey club man first linked up with the Clare panel in 2001 before then rejoining the squad in 2005.

In recent seasons he enjoyed greater success with Clare as they claimed Division 4 league promotion in 2014 and lifted the Division 3 league crown in 2016 with victory in Kildare.

The Clare team celebrate winning Clare players celebrating their 2016 Division 3 football league final win. Source: Lorraine.O'Sullivan

Later that summer, Hayes was between the posts as Clare enjoyed an extended campaign. They defeated Limerick before losing out to Kerry in Munster and then embarked on a qualifier win that saw victories secured against Laois, Sligo and Roscommon.

The string of victories saw Clare reach the All-Ireland quarter-final stage for the first time before losing out to Kerry. Hayes final championship appearance with Clare came last July when they lost out to Mayo in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

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