Record breaking Kilkenny hurler Henry Shefflin says he would not have won his ninth All-Ireland medal without the help of his great team-mates and the support of family in dark times.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, the nine-time medal winner was quick to point out that he would not have achieved such success without great players around him and the support of his family while recovering from serious injuries over the past few years.
“I’ve played with great players before and great players now and without those team mates I would not have any medals in my pocket,” Shefflin said.
"Today we had a very good team performance, and that has always been the hallmark of this team” - Henry Shefflin
“(Winning the replay) was very much about the team and the team performance, and that was the most satisfying thing. I think in the drawn game we did not perform as a team, although we had some good individual performances.
"Today we had a very good team performance, and that has always been the hallmark of this team.”
When questioned about what drives him on a personal level to keep striving for such success, Shefflin admitted that it’s because of his love of the game and the feeling he gets on successful days.
“I think it’s very simple. It’s because of the feeling I have now, and the feeling I had at the final whistle. That’s what drives you on. I have been very fortunate and very privileged in my career to have so many of those days.
"I’ve had one or two bad days as well so I know the difference between good and bad days.”
“I love playing the game, I love training and I love being involved with such a great team of fellas. That drives me on as well."
Shefflin also paid tribute to his family, who have seen at close hand the effect that serious injuries, including two cruciate knee ligament injuries in 2007 and 2010.
“The people that suffer most are probably my family because it’s a lot of long lonely hours that you have to do to get your rehab right. They suffer a lot, but they know that there are better days ahead so they give you that time and space.”
“I’ve had those injuries but I could not stand here with nine All-Ireland medals and say it’s all gone perfectly for me. You have to have the downs as well as the ups. That’s the beauty of sport.””