Banner County star Podge Collins surprised by Davy Fitzgerlad’s dual reprieve

Podge Collins: Hope to return to action in March.

Podge Collins puts Davy Fitzgerald’s change of heart about dual players down to a desire to freshen up the Clare hurling panel.

Speaking to Newstalk’s Off The Ball last night, Collins said recovery from his cruciate knee injury was progressing well and he hopes to return in March.

“The knee is coming along fine. I had tests in Dublin at the end of October to test the power in the leg and they were very happy. The next tests are at end of this month on the six-month mark (since the injury).

“At the moment, I’m doing straight-line running, plenty of gyming and bit of kicking and pucking. Nothing match related, not turning at too much intensity or speed. I’d say March, I’d be hopefully looking at taking to the field.”

The All-Ireland winner admitted he was surprised to be called back into the hurling fold by Fitzgerald, who was previously adamant players couldn’t properly serve two masters.

“I was surprised to get that call. His opinion was that you can’t get 100% out of yourself hurling if you’re playing football. That was his point.

“I always said I understand completely where Davy was coming from. But I just loved playing both games.

“I don’t know what’s changed. I suppose last year didn’t go too well and he wanted to freshen things up a bit. And I’m just delighted to get the opportunity.”

Collins admits he faces a challenge fitting in all his commitments but insists his schedule has been carefully planned with Fitzgerald and his father Colm, the football manager.

“My weeks are put together through the hurling and football management. They’re agreed.

“I know where I am every night of the week. And if I have a night off and there’s a hurling session, I won’t have to go down. It’s all laid out for me in a diary.

“It’s not my headache. Or the two managers’ headaches. A calendar was sent to both managers and was signed off by both managers.”


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