GAA Digest: Tough choice for Henry Shefflin - Kilkenny Cats on cloud nine after All-Ireland hurling win
King Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny boss Brian Cody's praise and Galway struggles
“I think it’s very simple. It’s because of the feeling I have now, and the feeling I had at the final whistle. That’s what drives you on. I have been very fortunate and very privileged in my career to have so many of those days.
“I’ve had one or two bad days as well so I know the difference between good and bad days.
“I love playing the game, I love training and I love being involved with such a great team of fellas. That drives me on as well.”
Shefflin, injury free after two cruciate knee operations in recent years, will now enjoy a well-earned break before returning to action with his club.
He added, “I just want to be able to sit down this winter and not have an operation to look forward to.
“Last year was a very sweet victory because there were major concerns over whether I would ever get back here again.
“But I think this one just encapsulates my whole career more than anything else and I definitely having to say this is one of the sweetest.”
History was always going to be a factor in the build-up to the replay for Shefflin as he conceded on Sunday.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks man said, “People were looking to talk to me about it and, to be fair, they were saying they’d love to see me win it and I decided I was going to say, ‘Yeah, I’d love to win it.
“There is no point in me hiding from that because it was a great motivation for me. Why would you hide from something so special like that?”
Shefflinwas also quick to praise his team-mates after Kilkenny’s emphatic win.
He stressed, “I’ve played with great players before and great players now and without those team mates I would not have any medals in my pocket.
“Winning the replay was very much about the team and the team performance, and that was the most satisfying thing. I think in the drawn game we did not perform as a team, although we had some good individual performances.
“Today we had a very good team performance, and that has always been the hallmark of this team.”
Kilkenny boss Brian Cody led the tributes to Shefflin at the post-match press conference.
Cody said, “He set the tone from around 1999, I think, to be honest about it, from the point of view of playing senior with Kilkenny.
“He wasn’t just playing forKilkenny, he led for Kilkenny, he fought for Kilkenny and he scrapped for Kilkenny.
Cody believes Shefflin will hang around to try and win a 10th All-Ireland medal next year.
“I haven’t spoken to him yet but I’d be amazed if he isn’t back. You talk about hunger but to me it is very simple and Henry and these players love hurling,”Cody said.
“The thing a lot of people forget when they talk about hunger, about this fella doing this or that, to me it’s very simple - Henryis just in love with the game.”
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