Usually a player’s first encounter with a new manager consists of a phone call or a face-to-face meeting to confirm a place on the panel, however, that wasn’t the case with David Reidy and Brian Lohan.
After a break away from the panel in 2019 to focus on work and his studies in LIT, the Éire Óg man has recommitted to the Clare cause under the legendary Lohan for the upcoming season.
As is the usual protocol, the new manager rang up Reidy following his appointment but that wasn’t the first time they had crossed paths.
“Back in 2016 I first came in contact with Brian. He was the manager of UL and I was playing Fitzgibbon in LIT, and Davy was over us. It was a November evening in St Pat’s under lights, rain and everything…
“Davy had us wound up, breaking down the door to get out on the field. We came out and UL were in a bit of a huddle, and I kind of got a bit over-excited or something. There was a shoulder or two, to the UL lads in the huddle, and I was turning around and all of a sudden I just got a hand onto my neck, basically.
“I looked up and it was Lohan himself! But once he put his hand on me, your natural reaction is to throw your hand back up onto his – and holy war broke out! It was basically a 30-man on 30-man brawl. So that was my first introduction to Brian Lohan!”
Lohan and Reidy were quick to put the college rivalries behind them on their respective returns to the Clare set-up.
“We’re two big boys at this stage. We had a bit of craic when I came into the panel, we laughed about it, but Brian is a professional man in all walks of life – so we’re on speaking terms!
“It’s kind of a natural reaction; if someone puts their hand onto you, what do you do? You’re either going to crawl away, or you’re going to fight.”
Reidy admits he feels re-energised following his year away and is rearing to return to a Clare jersey, especially having spent the summer as a supporter, unable to affect matters on the pitch.
“I went to the majority of the games, both league and championship (in 2019). Again, I’m still a Clare person; I’m still a fan of Clare hurling”, said Reidy at the launch of the Co–Op Superstores Munster Hurling League 2020.
“During the game-day, I was like ‘Oh, I’d love to be out there.’ But I knew what it took pre-season, to put the hard yards in, to get out there. And to be honest I wasn’t driven enough to do it. So, going back playing the club then; I played a club championship, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. And it was kind of a waiting game, if I’ll get the call or not.
“Because it was a gamble. Everyone has their own opinions when you take a year out on your own behalf. Are you going to get called back in? You’re in a privileged situation when you put on a Clare jersey, and it probably was a big gamble as well. But luckily I did get the call to come back in.”
While his return will provide a major boost for the Banner County, the decision by Peter Duggan to opt out for 2020 is sure to be a blow. No one is more sympathetic to his choice than Reidy
“I’m good auld friends with Peter. Disappointing to see him go, but it’s been kind of in his head the last couple of years, to go off travelling, to go to Australia, himself and the girlfriend… unfortunately, it was this year that he chose to go.
“But in terms of on the field, he was getting the majority of scores, be it frees and from play. He’s an accurate man. So, it gives an opportunity for someone else to put up your hand and basically take his place now.”