After more than a year and a half away from inter-county football, Mattock Rangers star David Reid has seamlessly slotted back into the Louth set-up with ease.
The captain of last year’s senior champions looked certain to get the call up for 2011 after his superb performances on the wing for Mattock last year.
He finished as top scorer in the Championship and more importantly, he lifted Joe Ward at the end of the campaign. A call-up did indeed occur but previously made plans put a stumbling block on Reid’s return.
Instead, the 28-year-old had to prepare for something else, another big occasion as he had his wedding to plan for in December and with a honeymoon booked for January, it meant that Reid missed the trials that Fitzpatrick held to find new players to recruit into his panel.
However, when the long slog of the Allianz League ended, Fitzpatrick was on the phone again and this time, Reid was more than willing to commit to the county set-up. He made his return in Newry against Down and on Sunday, against Cavan, the two Reids, Adrian and David played their parts in demolishing Cavan.
For David though, the return is all about helping Louth, if he can. He said: “I’m delighted to be back. I’m always trying to improve myself as a player and was delighted that Peter gave me a call to come back training with them.
“If I can add anything to the squad or the panel, I would be more than happy to do so.
“At the start of the year, there was trials going on and it was late December and I had other plans made at the time with the wedding so I missed out on trials at the start, but the lads have trained hard and I am not going to come in and look to steal the limelight. As I said If I can help Louth in any way, I’ll be more than happy to do it.”
But whilst Louth were fighting hard to win promotion from Division Three, it was not as if Reid was resting, as he was out every week for Mattock Rangers, putting in the effort to keep his side on track for more silverware for the Collon side.
“Putting in performances that attracted the attention of Fitzpatrick, Reid was delighted to get the call.
“You have to look it at and try to improve yourself as a player week in and week out. You try to train hard and look as aspects of your game and see if you can improve them. If you are lucky enough to be chosen to play inter-county level, it’s well and good.
“It’s a nice compliment to represent your county, but you want to contribute something to the county and if you can do that, I would be looking to play as well as I can for Louth, always have.”
This Wednesday, Reid will taste competitive football once again for the county as he lines out against Kildare in the quarter-final of the Leinster Junior Championship, something he knows is a big step up from Challenge Matches, but one he is relishing.
“It will be nice to get a run out in a competitive match in the first Junior Championship match. I am looking forward to that and there’s a few lads that can play in that who are involved with the senior squad.
“Louth have won the Leinster Junior Championship last year and the year before, so we are defending champions which is a nice situation to go to Newbridge and hopefully get a win down there.
“When you are drawn away to Kildare in the first round, it’s a tall order, but that’s what you have to do and if you are good enough you will come out of there with a win so hopefully we will.”
Already, Louth have a target on their backs in the Leinster Senior Championship, something that Reid more than likely will be involved with but he knows they can look no further than Carlow who will be the underdogs against Louth, who will start for once as heavy favourties.
“Hopefully, if we get a similar run like last year, then that would be great.
“The lads did brilliantly last year and a lot has been said of what happened in the final last year. I have my own opinions on it as does everyone but the first game is against Carlow and it’s a round later than Louth started last year, but Championship is a great leveller for anyone, so we know we have to take one step at a time before looking anywhere else in Leinster. That’s the focus.”