TJ Reid: ‘For me it’s a waste of a year, I’m not getting any younger’

Covid-19 has had a major impact on Kilkenny hurler’s business and his wedding plans

Kilkenny and Ballyhale Shamrocks hurler TJ Reid is feeling frustrated by the Covid-19 lockdown. File photograph: Inpho

Kilkenny and Ballyhale Shamrocks hurler TJ Reid is feeling frustrated by the Covid-19 lockdown. File photograph: Inpho

 

Kilkenny All Star TJ Reid has said that the disruption to this season represents a year that has been lost.

In an interview with Marie Crowe as part of the McSport Motivation series, the prolific forward and former Hurler of the Year spoke about his feelings on a year that has by mid-July yet to get into full swing.

“For me it’s a waste of a year. Unfortunately the way things are I’m not getting any younger. I’m 32 and when you hit the 30 mark you start to appreciate where you are and the level you’re at and how many years you have left in your head.

“When you’re 21 years of age you’re not even thinking of retiring. This year I was looking forward to it and coming off a good club run with Ballyhale Shamrocks. Everything was sky high and I was looking forward to getting back with Kilkenny.

“All of a sudden, bang! Everything was gone so it was mentally for an awful lot of people very tough. Sport is gone and sport is gone.”

The pandemic-enforced disruption came very close to interfering with his personal life after he and his fiancée had to be on the safe side and organised their wedding for the week before Christmas.

“I’m getting married to my fiancée Niamh on December 18th, which is grand. We sat down and chose it because there would be no distractions and no games on and we could enjoy it. Then the Covid came in, ruined the whole summer’s hurling and they were re-fixing matches for December.

“Myself and Niamh were at home panicking and listening to the news - glued to it because they were announcing the fixtures. They fixed the All-Ireland for December 13th - if Kilkenny get there it will be a fantastic week but that’s a long time off.”

Like many in the GAA, Reid isn’t entirely convinced that the circumstances of the Covid crisis will allow the inter-county championships to run uninterrupted from their scheduled opening date in three months’ time.

“It’s hard to get yourself too excited because it’s 50-50 at the moment and where things will lie in November, December might be a totally different ball game but it’s our special day and we’re looking forward to it and we’ll get to enjoy the football All-Ireland a week later.”

The proprietor of TJ Reid Health and Fitness, he has endured a long lay-off in terms of business as well.

He is sceptical about the idea that the shutdown has maybe advanced an argument that more team preparation could take place away from collective training centres.

“I don’t know. For managers and trainers you need to see your players. That’s how gym sessions or collective training sessions work because you get to see everyone, who’s putting in what.

“I agree in the winter time it’s the perfect place to get work in. You get your pre-season work in and have three months at home on the dark evenings but from my point of view it’s very hard to motivate yourself at home. I don’t like it, as home is where you’re meant to relax.”

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