We had a chance to get to know more about former Kilkenny hurler Peter “Chap” Cleere on our GAA podcast The Clash Act.
The Blacks and Whites club man was on Brian Cody’s panel from 2006 to 2008 and as he says himself, would have been on the periphery of that side that went on to be one of the greatest generation of hurlers the county has ever seen.
He is a successful man though, he’s been elected to Kilkenny County Council and has even worn the chain as Mayor of Kilkenny, a huge honour to have in your city and county.
Like many people in Kilkenny, the aim when you have a hurl in your hand is to go on and play for your county, he got that chance when Brian Cody called him in 2006 to ask him to join the panel.
It’s a dream come true, but it is hard work and only the best will do for Kilkenny and Brian Cody. “Chap” says it’s like another world when you go into that team:
“(It’s an) absolute bubble, but the craic was unreal as well. Just remember, you’re playing sport and you’re playing hurling, but you’re doing it because you want to do it, you do it cause you love it” said Peter.
“People always talk about the sacrifice and sacrifice this and sacrifice that, but really there isn’t a sacrifice that you do it because you wanted to do it. The friendships are unbelievable, you really are in a bubble and you become very selfish and very self-absorbed and it’s just you and the bubble and nothing else matters”.
“When you step away from that and you look back in and go, oh my God, I was nearly brainwashed when I was in there, but while you’re in it, it is the most brilliant, special place in the world to be,” said Peter.
Chap was called in for the 2006/2007 season and as he said, he got the “curly finger” before the league in 2008.
“I’ll never forget, we trained the night before (he got dropped by Brian Cody). I got married in November and I went off on holidays and we came back after five weeks of holiday, I remember coming back and we trained in Kieran’s college at the time, and I remember we were doing this drill, 200-metre sprints, they were horrific now, but I remember doing it in groups of six and I was absolutely bursting myself, I was really training hard and was winning all the races, but Brian was congratulating the other fellas”.
“It was the next day that I got “that” phone call from Brian Cody”.
Listen to the podcast below: