TJ Reid tired of people knocking Kilkenny football

TJ Reid says he has grown tired of people having pop shots at the state of Gaelic football in Kilkenny.

TJ Reid tired of people knocking Kilkenny football

The 2015 hurler of the year believes Dublin’s Leinster quarter-final against Laois or Wicklow next June will be an excellent opportunity to promote the bigger ball game on Noreside.

Last Saturday, Kilkenny’s footballers were presented with their All-Britain JFC winners medals alongside Brian Cody’s All-Ireland SHC champions. Among the football victors was former hurling goalkeeper David Herity. They were later beaten by Mayo by seven points in an All-Ireland semi-final.

The switch to the British competition is seen as the first step back for Kilkenny football after they were embarrassed in Division 4 in 2012, conceding a massive 26-195 in eight heavy defeats.

Reid, who was won football titles with his club Ballyhale Shamrocks, insists there are green shoots starting to appear in the county.

“Myself, I hate Kilkenny to be bad mouthed about football, to be honest. There are good players in Kilkenny, footballers, so there are. To promote it and get players on board is the problem. There’s plenty of good footballers in Kilkenny but they just won’t put that foot forward because they could or might be a bit embarrassed about it.

“But there are plenty of footballers in Kilkenny and I would like to see it promoted. No, I hate people talking down about Kilkenny. Myself, I have two junior football medals. I love playing football but hurling kind of takes over and that’s the key thing in Kilkenny. Hurling does take over a small bit.

“But this year the Kilkenny football championship was in June and July, that’s the period where there was no club hurling in Kilkenny so that might entice people because the schedule in Kilkenny is very towards hurling in those few months. At least having those few months off might give a player a sense of wanting to go towards football to try and keep the fitness up.”

Watching how Anthony Cunningham has stepped aside in Galway after facing a vote of no-confidence from the players, Reid is thankful for being from Kilkenny.

“To be honest, I don’t know what’s going on up there. Obviously the players don’t have the respect for Anthony Cunningham. He’s after driving Galway very close to two All-Irelands.

"He’s after losing the respect of the players. It’s unfortunate to see it but I don’t know the insights of it so I can’t speak on behalf of Galway. They’ll be back again next year challenging for the All-Ireland no doubt. They have a very good bunch of players in place.”

Reid, 29 next year, admits he was taken aback by the decisions of Tipperary trio Conor O’Mahony, 31, James Woodlock, 29, and Shane McGrath, 31, to retire over the past six days (at the time of interview, Reid wasn’t aware of Lar Corbett’s announcement to quit).

“Very surprised, to be honest, with those retirements and ourselves, looking on, you would be thinking that there is a few more years in them.

But every other county was looking at all the retirements that Kilkenny had last year and saying ‘Jaysus, Kilkenny might be a team who aren’t favourites for the All-Ireland.’”

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