THE TAG OF super sub has been attached to him during his Kilkenny senior hurling career but TJ Reid is keen to shed that image and become an established fixture in the Cats line-up.
After being drafted on as a substitute during their All-Ireland quarter-final win over Limerick, Reid was rewarded by being named to play from the start of yesterday’s semi-final meeting with Tipperary. He seized that chance by firing home 2-2 in Kilkenny’s sparkling performance and went some way towards banishing that moniker he has assumed.
“All week I have been hearing that and as a player you’d be pissed off hearing that. That’s why today I went out and tried to prove myself. I put that to the back of my mind as well. For me myself, I’m playing with the best hurlers in history probably – Henry Shefflin and Tommy Walsh. I’m not going to play with any better players.
“It’s great and it’s a privilege but at the end of the day I can’t just be looking at them. I have to be a leader as well and I suppose today I got the job gone. But the next day I have to go out and work even harder.”
With Richie Hogan set to return from suspension to be available for the final, Reid believes there will be strong competition for places now in the Kilkenny forward line.
“We just have to work our asses off in training. What you do in training is what you do on match day and we have to sit down and look at Galway. We looked at Tipperary today and had a few tactics and we’ll be looking at Galway the same way. It’s going to be a serious test in training for competition for places.
“That’s a good thing. At least you have someone up at the other end itching again and he’s driving you on as well. For Kilkenny, over the last few years we have players like that. That’s probably why we’re so successful. I’ve to up it another 100%.”