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10th Jul 2019

“Another manager walks away from that” – Eddie Brennan’s perseverance to come back from first job

Conan Doherty

Brought to you by Centra #WeAreHurling

The problem with being a legend is that you have something to lose.

Eddie Brennan might never lose his All-Irelands but when any great player ventures into management, they’re putting it all on the line again. The way we remember legacies – however lasting – is by short-term memory and, often, the last thing we remember of a sportsperson determines what we mostly think of them.

A good player will always be a good player but a good player who you thought underachieved as a coach will be thought of as that underachieving coach who used to be a good player. It’s nuanced but it’s important.

Eddie Brennan has perseverance though and despite a tough, tough start to his life as a manager, he has recovered in mere seasons to enhance his reputation to no end.

On the latest episode of Corbett & McGrath’s Big Build-Up, former Waterford manager Derek McGrath explained just how much credit the Laois boss deserves for coming through what he came through.

“For a young lad watching that and thinking about getting into coaching or management, Eddie Brennan’s first job in management saw him being defeated by Westmeath with Kilkenny as the under-21 manager.

“Another manager walks away from that,” McGrath said.

“First of all, he doesn’t put his eight or nine All-Ireland medals in jeopardy by getting involved in management.

“He gets involved in under-21s, at the coalface, he’s beaten by Westmeath in Mullingar and he probably has to live with the implications of the reaction to that.

“He goes back the following year and wins the Leinster championship. He goes to Laois when he could easily have kept his seat on The Sunday Game or whatever.

“The perseverance and the ability to be able to change his approach when he’s in management as opposed to playing, it’s a special skill set. I couldn’t give him enough praise for his whole approach.”

Watch that chat from 22:36 right here:

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