Tuesday 20 February 2018

Mental challenge hardest part: Henry

Henry Shefflin has spoken for the first time of his struggle to accept that his days as a Kilkenny hurler were ebbing to a close
Henry Shefflin has spoken for the first time of his struggle to accept that his days as a Kilkenny hurler were ebbing to a close
Vincent Hogan

Vincent Hogan

Henry Shefflin has spoken for the first time of his struggle to accept that his days as a Kilkenny hurler were ebbing to a close.

In exclusive extracts from his autobiography carried in today's Irish Independent, the most celebrated hurler of all time recounts the frustrations endured in not starting a single Championship game during his final season for the county.

As Shefflin's status in the Cats dressing-room declined last year, he admits "not making the first 15 became less of a problem in my own mind than simply not knowing where I stood. I felt communication could have been better."

Shefflin talks of having "fewer chats" with Brian Cody as the dynamic of their relationship altered fundamentally during their 16th season together in a Kilkenny dressing-room.

"The mental challenge became the hardest part for me in 2014" writes the record 10-time All-Ireland winner.

The Kilkenny legend also recounts how he came "within a millimetre" of losing an eye after an incident with Clare's Gerry Quinn in the 2004 All-Ireland quarter-final and tells how Quinn's subsequent apology left something to be desired.

And he offers a candid profile of Kilkenny's bitter rivalry with Cork and their response to being branded 'Stepford Wives'.

Irish Independent

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