"It's just using your influence on the pitch, talking to lads a bit more, making a nuisance of yourself" 1 year ago

"It's just using your influence on the pitch, talking to lads a bit more, making a nuisance of yourself"

Eddie Brennan began this season playing Junior B for Graigue/Ballycallan.

An injury to a key man followed by fast Eddie proving that he still has the brains and the touch bumped him back up the ranks and on Sunday in Nowlan Park, he'll be lining out at centre forward in a Leinster final.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

At 40, he's long come to terms with the fading of that lightning pace and though he doesn't go like the clappers of hell anymore, he's still well able to do damage and he's still knocking over goals and points for Graigue/Ballycallan.

The Kilkenny club who have made it back into the big time.

After three years down in intermediate and plenty of knocking on the door to senior hurling in the most competitive club championship in the country, they finally burst it open this year when they came from nine down to beat Tullaroan in the county final.

That was the big one and this is bonus territory now, but Kilkenny clubs always fare well in Leinster and in the All-Ireland.

The sky blues haven't let the side down so far, overcoming a tough Celbridge challenge and taking care of Wexford's Fethard fairly handily in the meantime.

Next up is Portlaoise on Sunday, a game that throws in under some sort of irony for one of hurling's greatest ever goalscorers.

He's the Laois manager now and he'll be hurling against one of his selectors, Tommy Fitzgerald in Nowlan Park. Not only that, Brennan was a guard in Portlaoise for a number of years so he'll be aiming to put manners on the town lads for just one more day in Nowlan Park.

Wooly spoke to the man himself on The GAA Hour Show on Thursday where he discussed his role in the Graigue/Ballycallan team.

"The pace probably is (gone.) I was fortunate, I had good stamina so I could cover a lot of ground in matches, whereas now, you have to use your brain a little bit more," he says.

"There was a few times there, you're thinking there's something wrong with you, but when you sit down and think about it, you realise you haven't that young body anymore."

But the knack for being in the right place at the right time, the cuteness - you never lose that.

"It's just adapting and using your influence on the pitch, talking to lads a bit more, making a nuisance of yourself," he says.

Other teams and other players tend to mark him tightly, given the reputation he has, and Brennan plays a few games with them.

"I suppose I just get a whack out of it sometimes too that lads are still worrying about it too, I just laugh away going, 'you can't be worrying about a 40-year-old, lads really, you cannot be', go watch one of the younger lads, they're going to do the harm...

"It's funny, but so be it, if it helps, it helps, a lot of the time I'm just trying to make space for other fellas and trying to drag lads out of positions, getting in the hooking and the blocking and that as well.."

Graigue/Ballycallan have plenty of young lads to do the damage. Conor Murphy was the hero in the county final but Billy Ryan and his brother Sean, Jesse Roberts and a load of other young lads have been on fire for them this year.

As for managing his time, it's a struggle, but nothing Eddie's not able for.

"We train three times a week with Laois at the moment, after that, it's a case of planning it out. It might mean two trainings of a Sunday, the home life is something you're fierce mindful of, I won't lie to you it's busy," he says.

You can listen to the full Eddie Brennan interview and much more from Thursday's GAA Hour Show right here.