Sunday 18 August 2019

TJ Reid can eclipse King Henry's perfect 10, insists Kilkenny legend Jackie Tyrrell

Kilkenny's TJ Reid. Photo: Sportsfile
Kilkenny's TJ Reid. Photo: Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

TJ Reid deserves to be rated alongside ten-time All-Ireland winner Henry Shefflin in the list of Kilkenny greats and could even surpass his medal haul, according to Jackie Tyrrell.

The Ballyhale maestro is aiming for an eighth Celtic Cross against Tipperary this Sunday and, although he turns 32 later this year, Tyrrell - himself a holder of nine winner's medals - reckons there is even more to come from Reid.

"Richie Hogan potentially could get to that number as well but TJ would have a better chance looking at his durability," said Tyrrell.

"Richie was struggling with injuries in the last couple of years but who's to say what happens.

"They would have to win three All-Irelands in the next four or five years for that to happen. Henry's up there on his own for a reason.

"It's so hard to win 10 All-Ireland medals. The hurling world is very competitive and it's not really conducive for trying to break records.

"It's a different world now than it was back when Henry was there. You only had to win four matches to win an All-Ireland whereas now that will only get you out of a round-robin.

"But you could never say never when it comes to TJ Reid and Kilkenny."

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Tyrrell feels that Kilkenny's settled defence gives them the edge on Tipperary, which will also make Reid a strong favourite to collect his second Hurler of the Year award, confirming his emergence from Shefflin's looming shadow.

"TJ realised it was now on him to carry the can," added Tyrrell, speaking as he launched a Littlewoods Ireland collaboration with O'Neills. "Suddenly, Henry isn't there, Eddie Brennan and Eoin Larkin are gone.

"He's revelled in that and he's just taken it to a different level. There comes a time in games where you just need your go-to players and against Limerick when we needed a puck-out, TJ just puts his hand up.

"It's been a spiralling growth. And if Kilkenny win the weekend with TJ as captain, he's going to win a second Hurler of the Year and he moves into the space with Shefflin."

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