TOMÁS CLANCY admitted it was a very difficult decision to hang up his inter-county boots due to a serious foot injury.
The 30-years-old, who works as a design engineer with Stryker in their research and development department in Carrigtwohill, made the call during the week.
The Fermoy defender won an All-Ireland junior title with Cork, a Munster U21 as well as two Sigerson Cups and a county senior with UCC.
“The Achilles has been at me since the Tyrone game in the Super 8s in 2019. I was only turning in the game, when the injury happened, but I did a lot of damage, tearing muscles from my calf down to the Achilles,” Clancy said.
He suffered a related calf muscle injury in a club game against Bandon last September and plans to continue with Fermoy once he returns to full fitness.
“I had to stand back and realistically say what was best for me at this stage.
“In fairness to Ronan McCarthy, he gave a lot of time to come back from the injury, but the main contributory factor for me was the injury itself. I’ve been kind of messing around with it for the past year-and-a-half.
“It really opened my eyes with the club last September, when I was still going badly and knew I wouldn’t be 100% right for the 2021 inter-county season.
“I wasn’t really giving it respect and I was always thinking long-term as well because if I ruptured the Achilles it would be really bad and gone for good.
“I still want to be able to play with Fermoy and obviously you need your ankle to be able to do that,” he added with a touch of humour.
And it wasn’t just football that was impacted because he was grateful for his mother’s automatic car to get around during two-months in a foot brace.
“I’m on the road back to a certain extent, but I can’t put a time-frame on it. I was only able to walk comfortably for a small distance since the new year.
“Anyone who saw me would have seen me hobbling around the place.
“Even before Christmas I was in the city with Sinead to look at the lights and I had to sit down for a bit after half-an-hour walking. I was getting a bit agitated.
“I’m rehabbing with Colin Lane. I visited my surgeon, Mr McKenna, in Santry, twice, so he’s advising me. It’s the same rehab as if I had ruptured the Achilles.
“I didn’t need surgery, which saved me a couple of months. McKenna said he hadn’t seen that kind of injury too many times.
“And still I keep on forgetting that it really is a very bad injury.”
Clancy rates the second Sigerson in 2014, the 0-10 to 0-9 over a crack Jordanstown side as the highlight.
“We finished our semi-final with 13 men and managed to win by the skin of our teeth.
“We were the underdogs because they had a lot of stars like Mattie Donnelly, Jamie Clarke, and Ronan O’Neill.
“Yet, we were confident in our own ability and had fellows just coming on to the inter-county scene like Conor Cox, Paul Geaney, and Michael Quinlivan in our full-forward line.”
Although success eluded the dynamic wing-back with Cork, Clancy enjoyed every minute of it.
“I was lucky enough to come in 2013 during Conor Counihan’s last year.
“I made my debut in the league against Dublin and made my championship debut against Limerick the same year, as well.
"I’m still going to play with my club. I’m the only player from my age-group still playing.
“I won a junior hurling in 2009 at 19, when our centre-back was 16.
“Beating Charleville with a last-minute point in 2014 was a hurling highlight and defeating St Michael’s to go up senior in football was another big thrill,” Clancy concluded.