“We actually struggled to get him that year in 2015, he was playing with IT Carlow at the time and I didn’t really get him until after the league because they wanted him and saw him as a really important player for them.
Ennis shrugs at the suggestion that perhaps there's two or three more Jack Fagans in Meath that could cut it with a tier one county.
“Three or four? I don't know about that. There might have been one or two over the years, I'm thinking about players like Steven Clynch but I think Jack Fagan is a bit of a one-off really, he's just really gone for it and he's got his rewards and I couldn't speak highly enough of him.”
Fagan, friendly with a number of Waterford hurlers including Dunford at IT Carlow, initially transferred to the De La Salle club in 2016 though was overlooked by county managers Derek McGrath and Paraic Fanning.
In those eight games so far he's scored 3-5, all from play, and while Dessie Hutchinson — who created Fagan's goal against Clare last weekend with a sumptuous pass — is stealing the headlines for his scoring exploits, All-Ireland semi-final opponents Kilkenny will be wary of Fagan's goal threat too.
“We missed him the year he left, 2016, but we went on and won the Christy Ring Cup. We beat Antrim after a replay. Might we have won it easier with Jack involved? Who can say, really?
“Personally, I'd never try to talk a lad out of doing what he wanted to do. He was going to college in Carlow and he was friendly with Waterford lads and decided he was going to go for it. I'm sure it was a hard enough decision, it was a brave decision but he's an honest young fella and it's no surprise to me that he is where he is. If I see him playing in an All-Ireland final next month, it won't surprise me either, he's always had that sort of quality.”