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Eddie Brennan Faces Unusual Situation In Leinster Final

Eddie Brennan Faces Unusual Situation In Leinster Final

When he retired from inter-county hurling seven years ago Eddie Brennan never thought his club hurling career would last this long.

"I'd say certainly if you'd asked my wife she'd have said, 'No'. About two or three years ago she'd have wanted me to pull the plug on it," said the eight-time Kilkenny All-Ireland winner at an AIB event.

The enduring nature of his time in a Graigue Ballycallan jersey has led Brennan back to a Leinster intermediate final. Today, his side face Portlaoise at Nowlan Park.

The game will see two strands of his hurling career meeting: the latter years of his club hurling career and the beginning of his first inter-county management job.

In September, Brennan was confirmed as the new manager of Laois. Lining out for Portlaoise on Saturday will one of selectors, Tommy Fitzgerald.

I'm trying to keep pushing plenty of food into Tommy this week anyway and get him bulked up so he won't be able to run around.

It's an unusual one, it's gas, the two of us would have spoken maybe four weeks ago. It kind of dawned on me. I said, 'Ye won the senior B, are ye in the intermediate (in Leinster)? Are we in line to run into each other?'

In a way, you're kind of hoping that doesn't come to pass. Then after the semi-final when we beat Fethard the first thing I was concerned about was who won the other one.

When you heard it was (Portlaoise), it's the man above having a dark sense of humour. That's just the nature of it, no more than two club guys squaring off to each other in Fitzgibbon or Sigerson.

It'll be parked up for an hour on Saturday and whatever happens, happens. It's him or me, that's the way it will be. We've agreed to stay at opposite ends of the pitch and not try to run into each other too much.

Brennan doesn't know if he will continue to play when Graigue Ballycallan make the jump back to senior hurling next year.

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"Certainly, it's attractive. There's no doubt about it. You look at it and say, 'Am I in the way or am I actually contributing something?' And that's the reality of it because if I can help in some way - it's all about the young lads in our club.

"I got huge satisfaction out of the county final, seeing them win something and watching how they've kicked on in the last couple of weeks. They're the future of the club. It's certainly not about someone like me anymore and it's brilliant to see them get a county final under their belt and go into Nowlan Park in those surrounds and excel and succeed.

"Particularly the way the county final went for us this year, it's a great way for lads - and I know myself, that winning habit gives you belief and confidence to go forward. I would have huge, huge hope for our club in a couple of years' time why we can't be knocking on the door and winning seniors."

Graigue Ballycallan’s Eddie Brennan is pictured ahead of the AIB GAA Leinster Intermediate Hurling Club Championship Final where they face Portlaoise on Saturday, December 1st at Nowlan Park.

AIB is in its 28th season sponsoring the GAA Club Championship and will celebrate their 6th season sponsoring the Camogie Association. AIB is delighted to continue to support Senior, Junior and Intermediate Championships across football, hurling, and camogie.

For exclusive content and behind the scenes action throughout the AIB GAA & Camogie Club Championships follow AIB GAA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat and www.aib.ie/gaa.

Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

See Also: The Boston Housemates Going Head-To-Head In Tomorrow's Meath U21 Final

PJ Browne
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