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Clare made good progress in 2016 but may have peaked too early, according to former manager Davy Fitzgerald.
The Banner County won promotion back to Division 1A of the Allianz Hurling League before going on to win the title for the first time in 38 years, but they struggled to make an impact in the Championship.
Defeat to Waterford in the Munster SHC semi-final meant they had to negotiate the All-Ireland SHC qualifier series with their summer ending at the hands of Galway.
Fitzgerald stepped down from his position earlier this month and in a review to the County Board the former All-Ireland winner admitted the Banner may have peaked too soon
"It was a progressive year for the team, in which we played 17 competitive games, winning 14," Fitzgerald wrote.
"In this timeframe, we won the Munster League, regained Division 1A status by attaining promotion and in the process, won the National Hurling League for Clare after a 38-year gap.
"We worked hard to prepare for the League as it was felt necessary to play at our best to attain promotion.
"On reflection, we may have peaked early but did prepare very well for the championship followed, in which we won two out of four games.
"We exited at the quarter-final stage. Historically, we had a pretty good year and concluding my tenure as Clare senior hurling manager, I wish to thank the county board, our sponsor Pat O’Donnell, my backroom people I worked so hard with, Clare Supporters Club, and finally the players who wore the Clare jersey with such pride and passion in my five years as manager.
"I am immensely proud of our achievements together and take pride in the fact that I was part of creating history for the county of Clare that I love with all my heart."
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