Brian Cody pays tribute to Shefflin: ‘I haven’t seen a better hurler’

‘He genuinely couldn’t have done a single thing to get another ounce out of himself’

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody has described Henry Shefflin as the best he has ever seen. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody has described Henry Shefflin as the best he has ever seen. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

 

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody has paid tribute to retired Kilkenny record holder Henry Shefflin, describing him as the best hurler he’d ever seen.

Speaking after the county’s last-minute, one-point win over Clare in the Nowlan Park relegation play-off, Cody was asked about a momentous week for hurling in the county after the retirement of Shefflin and the death of pioneering coach Mgr Tommy Maher.

“He’s done everything. He’s done everything, absolutely everything for Kilkenny. He passed comment himself, that he got absolutely everything out of himself. It’s not everybody can say that. It’s not everybody in any walk of life can say that - you couldn’t have done anything to get more out of yourself. He genuinely couldn’t have done a single thing to get another ounce out of himself.

“He got the absolute maximum. You talk about emptying the tank every so often on the pitch but he emptied it all the time and emptied it throughout his career and that’s a hell of a tribute to pay to anybody, no matter what they’re trying to do.

“His greatest legacy at the end of the day is he has set the example for every Kilkenny player for what it takes as he was capable of adorning the game but he chose to work as hard as any player who ever walked out on Croke Park to allow him to adorn the game and that’s something that is a great lesson for everybody.”

Asked about his description of another recently retired member of his panel, JJ Delaney as the best defender he’d seen, he clarified:

“Well, what I said was I had never seen a better defender. It’s a serious statement to make, that’s exactly what I said. Have I seen a better hurler than Henry? I haven’t seen a better hurler than Henry. But then again, neither have most people.”

He also spoke glowingly of Mgr Tommy Maher;

“The players on the field today wouldn’t have remembered him, but they would have known about his outstanding contribution that he had made. But anyone who would have been part and parcel of his time would have realised the effect of what had happened.”

Cody’s Clare counterpart David Fitzgerald echoed the sentiments.

“Henry Shefflin was one of a kind, a player with talent, a player with vision but most of all, especially when I played against him, his leadership on the field - when Kilkenny were in trouble at times he made them tick.

“He absolutely rounded the troops and made them tick. We won’t see too many Henry Shefflins playing hurling and I’m glad to say I played against him a number of times and enjoyed it. Absolutely, he owes the game nothing and every accolade he gets he totally deserves.”

Fitzgerald also went on to call for an expansion of the top division in hurling in the wake of his team’s relegation.

“Ah sure listen, we are not happy about it,” he said when asked how much of a setback the outcome was, “but Cork went down there, Limerick went down there, Dublin went down there.

“I think the whole thing is up for review again [not until the end of next season] anyhow so hopefully there will be a bit of sense seen in it. I don’t think we are a Division 1B team but if we are to play there we won’t have a complaint in Clare, we will do what we have to do, no problem.

“But I would like to see a bit of common sense thrown into this. I think Limerick have spent long enough down in Division 1B as well as Wexford have, so it’s maybe time for a change. But if we’ve to go down, we’ll go down, there’s no hassle.

“It’s all about from May onwards, that’s when the thing starts really heating up and we have work to do.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.