Henry Shefflin talks about Kilkenny’s 2020 “meltdowns in the rearview mirror”, how hurling will evolve, returning to club management with Thomastown, and the precedent set with the Clare-Wexford Covid situation
Henry Shefflin believes that Kilkenny are “not too far away at all” in the hunt for the All-Ireland title.
The Cats have not claimed the Liam MacCarthy Cup since 2015, their longest barren spell since Brian Cody took over in late 1998.
Limerick have had a subdued league thus far but are still favourites in many people’s eyes, with their last championship defeat coming against Kilkenny in mid-2019.
“I actually think Galway are next, after Limerick, but I think Kilkenny, Tipp, Waterford, Wexford probably.
“I think Kilkenny would be just slightly below Galway. I would rank Galway next, but I think Kilkenny are very much there.
“Obviously the form of TJ (Reid) and the way TJ is playing is one of the major things, and I think the changes they’ve made – they’ve new backroom teams in, there’s a bit of freshness to their play last Sunday, so I think they won’t be too far away.
“And if Billy Ryan, Adrian Mullen, Eoin Cody, these players, develop.
“The one thing I referenced is a lot of teams try to mirror what Limerick do. Kilkenny, to a certain extent, but you saw last week that they’re well able to mix it and (they have) that variety in play and they can score goals.
“So, because of that, I think they are (in the race).
“You think about it, what was the score at half-time against Waterford (last year); when Kilkenny were leading in the lead-up to half-time, was it 12 or 13 points?
“It could very easily have been Kilkenny in an All-Ireland final last year, so they’re not far away at all. We’re hoping anyway!
“But I actually think, and I think last year’s performance definitely will give a lot of confidence, playing against a system like that, that they’ve probably struggled with previously.
“I think they’ll take a lot confidence from that, and I think the championship suits them.
“Brian puts a big focus on the league, they won’t have a league final and they can look forward then to playing Wexford (who are bookies favourites to beat Laois) a couple of weeks later.”
PATREON: Join the OurGame Supporters Club for €5 per month — bonus content includes audio podcasts of the Hurling Show and the Football Show, and archive interviews: https://www.patreon.com/OurGame
Alternatively, if you wish to support OurGame, you can also do so through PayPal: https://paypal.me/SSOurGame
LIVE CLUB FUNDRAISERS: Does your club need to run a fundraiser this year? Let OurGame do it for you with a live show — email Events@OurGame.ie for an information pack 💰💰💰💰
FACEBOOK 📘 https://www.facebook.com/OurGame.ie/
INSTAGRAM 📷 https://www.instagram.com/ourgame.ie/
TWITTER 🐦 https://twitter.com/OurGameHQ
TIKTOK 💃 https://www.tiktok.com/@ourgamehq
WEBSITE 🌍 https://ourgame.ie/