Back when Reg left Ireland for Australia is was still pretty uncommon.
I always said that even if Reg never helped me out with anything and he was still at a different club, just his being out here and just his success alone had an impact on not only me but all young players back in Ireland.
He laid a benchmark without really knowing it and I think that it’s just important for Irish players to have someone to look up to and strive to emulate and he provided that from day one before even knowing him.
When I heard that Reg could potentially be joining Geelong, I just had my fingers crossed and ever since he did come, he has always been ultra-supportive.
It’s a similar path for us Irish boys and he was always there to guide me along any time I needed it. Obviously, he is such a good player and that always gives you the belief that you can hopefully do something similar.
Certainly, in the early days when things weren’t going as smoothly, he was always there to smooth the seas a bit and calm me down from that perspective and keep me believing that you can improve and that you can get better.
It is great to hear from people back home that Geelong are their favourite team now because it has more Irish guys in it.
For Reg, Stef and I we share a special bond and it makes you feel closer to home. We can talk about all things Ireland and what is happening back there. It is like you can step outside of the Australian bubble for a while when you are talking to them and that just makes it feel a bit closer to home.
Reg has done a lot for Stef and I - we can help each other along the way and more often than not, we have gone through the same old struggles and it just makes it a bit more of a supportive environment.
I am really looking forward to running out alongside Reg in his 200th game and I think it is going to be a pretty special moment for both of us.