PODGE COLLINS maintains that the animated Davy Fitzgerald so many viewers have been tuning in to watch on 'Ireland's Fittest Family' – the series the All-Ireland-winning manager helped to create – is the Fitzgerald the Clare players have become used to over the last two years.
Collins believes his competitive character shines through exactly on the popular TV show which is drawing to a conclusion. "I'd say if Davy put two ducks going down a river and he had one of them, he'd be going mad. He's just a competitive character. It's just the passion he brings," said Collins at the Allianz League launch.
"I suppose it shines through that TV show – the camera is right on him. It is evident that he just wants to win everything he can. Some nights he would be a bit more animated than others. Usually he is relatively calm, but he does get his point across to us."
Collins reckons the All-Ireland winning manager is "even more driven than last year."
"He's just focused on the league, the Kilkenny game is big for us."
Collins was on the bench when Kilkenny were in Ennis for last year's league meeting, a match Clare let slip from their grasp. Brian Cody's contention that his team have slipped out of the first four is not embraced by the All Star corner-forward.
"They'd still be my No 1. They set the benchmark. Henry Shefflin, nine All-Irelands. They are still the benchmark," he remarked. "Kilkenny, any day they go out, they bring a certain passion and intensity to a game that's unlike any county. I think we have to match it this Sunday."
Collins mirrors his manager's view, however, that Clare are a little behind where they want to be with preparations.
"We were away for the start of January, we missed 14 days and that is a lot to miss, getting just a game or two under our belts. But we're under no illusions. It will be similar to last year, a championship mentality really that every game you went out in you had to win, 100pc full throttle."