David Reidy’s switch to midfield this year has been one of the major plus points of a perfect season to date but as he told Eoin Brennan, championship has always been Clare’s main priority.
Going from being a bit part corner-forward to an ever-present figure around the busy middle third has certainly transformed David Reidy’s hurling, with the Éire Óg star being one of Clare’s most influential and consistent performers in their successful Munster and National League campaigns.
Having broken into the squad the year after Clare’s All-Ireland success, Reidy only featured for 334 minutes of league and championship action up to the end of 2015 but has already trebled that game time after this year’s National League, something that has provided huge confidence heading into the championship.
Having been with Davy in LIT as well, I had played in a number of positions including midfield and he must have spotted something and brought that to the county team and It kind of went from there really this year.
“Of course, especially when you get a couple of games under your belt. I suppose out in midfield, it’s probably a new lease of life for me as there’s so much space around there, well at times anyway.
“It’s just completely different to being inside at corner-forward. The couple of games in the Munster League to get used to the new positions did wonders for me as well.
“Having been with Davy in LIT as well, I had played in a number of positions including midfield and he must have spotted something and brought that to the county team and It kind of went from there really this year.
“Playing there is a specialised position more than anything and the fact that I’ve been there since the start of the year has kind of helped me a lot in getting to terms with the position and the workload involved. Every game has helped bring me along to the next level and it has improved my fitness as well.
“Personally I will be more comfortable this Sunday having played in the two league finals against Waterford. I played there for the Under 21’s as well but this has been a step up again and hopefully those games will bring me on in terms of confidence.”
Being part of Clare’s first National League success in 38 years has also been a major shot in the arm but it’s championship that still burns hottest in terms of desire.
“The National League win meant a lot but still, taking a step back and looking at it now, championship is still the one. Everyone in the squad would probably agree with that but even the experience of playing in Thurles on big days in front of big crowds has been important for me.
“I suppose from the start of the year, we have always been looking forward to June 5 and now it’s only around the corner so the energy levels are hyping up now a small bit more and we’re all looking forward to it now.
“The intensity and physical levels are definitely going to be upped on Sunday so there’s only going to be a puck of a ball again between the two teams I’d say. They [Waterford] probably had a slight advantage in that they have the motivation of losing the last day to drive them on so we’re going to have to knuckle down over the next week to make sure that we come out on the right side of it.
“Munster is a big championship in itself and the fact that we haven’t done so well over the past couple of years, I think getting a win on Sunday is going to be vital. That it’s Waterford again, we know a battle and a half is coming so hopefully we can just get over the line again.”