Podge Collins will not be returning to the Clare senior hurling panel this year and will again be available to the county’s footballers.
It was revealed last October the 2013 All-Ireland SHC and All-Star winner had stepped away from Brian Lohan’s set-up. He subsequently linked up with his father and football manager Colm, coming on as a substitute in the Munster SFC semi-final defeat to Tipperary.
“I’m in with the football panel this year so hopefully it goes well,” Collins told the RTÉ GAA podcast.
“We’re training away by ourselves hard. Like every team in the country, the running, the gym programmes, the stretching, the bit of skills, the shooting and stuff like that. It is difficult doing it by yourself but everyone has to adapt to the current climate because hopefully we’ll be back in the fields shortly.”
From 2014 to '16, 29-year-old Collins lined out for both senior teams before committing solely to the hurlers in '17. The Cratloe man’s brother Seán also came off the bench in the SFC loss to Tipperary.
Clare’s hurlers will have a fit-again John Conlon to call on this year but it remains to be seen if Colm Galvin is a part of the squad after a groin injury ruled him out last year while 2019 All-Star Peter Duggan remains in Australia. In January, Seadna Morey confirmed he won’t be part of the group this season.
Considering Clare have retained their Division 2 status unlike Cork and Tipperary who they have had the better of in recent years, Collins is looking forward to the season with optimism. Seeing David Power’s Premier County side claim a Munster title was inspiring, he says.
“Tipperary winning Munster last year, you'd kind of put yourself on a similar level to them even though they've had more underage success than we would have in Clare in football.
"They've got some unbelievable talent on their team and off their bench but you would look at teams like them and Cavan and they are teams that we are competing against consistently.
"Their success last year - Tipperary winning Munster, Cavan winning Ulster, and going on to an All-Ireland semi-final - is something you would obviously like and if you're as good as they were this year, you'll get to that point."
Podge Collins’ here.podcast can be heard