Tuesday 12 December 2017

Player's view: Eoin Kelly

Mullinahone and Tipperary forward

"I went to secondary school in St Kieran's in Kilkenny. Wearing the jersey there I never thought I would be beaten. In all the time we were there we played 45 games and were only ever beaten in one game.

That is just the belief that is there at underage and in the schools in Kilkenny, especially St Kieran's and that has transferred to the Kilkenny jersey now.

"You'd love to be in the position they are in. It nearly drives you on a bit. The one thing I will say about the Kilkenny players is that they are very humble guys. They just get on about their business.

"I have trained since the Waterford game. I tweaked the back a week or two before the All-Ireland semi-final in the gym doing something I should not have been doing. When you feel so good for six or nine months it's a process of elimination of what you do and don't do so it's a learning curve .

"It's disc trouble so it requires lots of stretching and loosening, staying out of certain drills in training. I think I can stay away from surgery because I have spoken to people that have had the same injury and the best way to manage it is constant maintenance, loosening up and stretching it. I do a lot of extra core work in my own spare time.

"It's amazing with an injury like that, sometimes you might be able to get another year or two out of your career because you have to train that extra bit harder, once you stay in shape and have the hunger, which definitely is there. I am enjoying it as much this year as when I started.

"The quality of the younger players that have come into the squad has amazed me. They are playing way beyond their years. They never came in bluffing on about winning back-to-back minor titles and contesting U-21 finals, it was all about when is the next game.

"To see some of the things those boys do in training is incredible. Not only are they top-class hurlers but they are top-class people away from the field as well."

Irish Independent

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