Tuesday 12 December 2017

Cats confident Cody and Shefflin will not walk away

Kilkenny are confident that Henry Shefflin will return for another season
Kilkenny are confident that Henry Shefflin will return for another season
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Jackie Tyrell is the latest Kilkenny stalwart to commit to the cause for next season. Following on from Tommy Walsh's declaration that he will be back and expects everyone else to join him, his 31-year-old colleague sees no reason to walk away from his glittering career.

There was plenty of speculation surrounding Tyrrell's intentions after the reigning champions' All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Cork, while the futures of Brian Cody, Henry Shefflin and Walsh were also debated.

But, after 10 years of top-level hurling and six All-Ireland medals, the James Stephens man is intent on continuing into 2014.

"I don't need to think about it, once I get picked I'll be back," he said. "The way the game has gone, once you hit 30-31, the big 'retirement' word comes out. It is just an automatic knee-jerk reaction.

"I don't expect any retirements in Kilkenny. I don't really know; we haven't met up or talked or anything. We are just back with our clubs, getting on with it and enjoying it."

Asked about Cody's intentions, he said: "I don't think he will (retire). Brian is his own man, he'll make his own decision when the time comes."

Tyrrell attended last Sunday's All- Ireland final, the first time in six years he was in Croke Park and not playing for Liam MacCarthy. Watching all of these new faces going for the cup has stirred something in Kilkenny – there is a new resolve to be back at the business end next year.

"Seeing the razzmatazz and the build-up beforehand was brilliant," he said at the launch of the Celtic Champions Classic. "You were sitting there and itching to play. Absolutely, it would reinvigorate you to go on again next year and, hopefully, get back to some days like that.

"I played a bit of football (during August), it has been a bit different alright. Last Sunday, I'd rather have been out on the pitch. But you saw the two best teams in the country there, and well deserved."

The All-Ireland final saw a change in style from what Kilkenny have produced over the past number of years and Tyrrell expects the Cats to adapt to some degree when they re-assemble and plan in the winter.

"It is very much a possession game really now," he said. "The days of route one and hitting the ball long are kind of gone. We tried it this year and it didn't work. Teams are just holding onto the ball, working it out and looking for the good ball into the forwards. So, maybe that is something we need to look at and adjust our game and tweak it.

"Clearly what we did this year didn't work. Teams are always looking at who are the team to beat and what do we need to do. Cork, Dublin and Clare have done it this year, so yeah, I'd say it is something we will be looking at."

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