“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.”
Kilkennyboss Brian Codywas quick to pay tribute to his other players too.
“It’s a replay, it’s something we have never sampled before. It’s not the first or second Sunday in September, it’s the last Sunday in September,” he said.
“It’s unchartered territory for hurlers and it seemed very strange with the MacCarthy Cup still up for grabs. It was tucked away for three weeks and three weeks is a long time at that stage. It’s about getting ourselves ready and getting back into it.
“We started lively and we started well. We were certainly going well and then we were hit by two goals again and it was as if what’s going to happen after this? But the response was instant and very strong and that was the key to it today. The performance of the team was absolutely outstanding.”
Defender Brian Hogan warned that theCatswill be back for more All-Ireland glory next season after proving their hunger with this success.
Hogan said, “It means everything to us. I won’t lie to you, for the players it is why we come back every January and put in the work.
“You go through the turmoil and the injuries as you see with Michael Rice, because it means everything to us. It is what we live for and it never gets old. Every year it gets better and better. It is fantastic.
“All-Ireland finals are never easily won. Sometimes you can find a big game pass you by at times, it is so fast. You are just conscious of your own job. Every one of us has a job to do and you are just focused in on that and hope the rest will follow.”
GALWAY officials have confirmed that goalkeeper James Skehill and star manJoe Canning struggled with injury in Sunday’s All-Ireland final defeat toKilkenny.
They are also aggrieved by the decision to disallow a second half goal from Damien Hayes.
But manager Anthony Cunningham is realistic enough to know that his team came up against a superb Cats side in the Croke Park replay.
Cunningham said, “I suppose it’s one piece of consolation to be the second best team in Ireland, to this super team. But we’ll stay knocking on the door. We beat them in a Leinster final this year. We’ll want to beat them in an All-Ireland next year, that’ll be the aim.”
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