Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald has said the Banner County were the better team over the two games after his charges triumphed over Cork in a pulsating 5-16 to 3-16 classic in Croke Park.
He said: “In my opinion over the two days we were the better team. I think Cork are a fantastic hurling team, but I really believe that we were the better team over the two days.”
The 1995 and 1997 All-Ireland senior medallist paid tribute to a Clare team that were pegged back to level after being eight points ahead at one stage.
“A lot of teams would have left it. When someone goes back at you like that twice. A lot of teams would capitulate. They (Clare) won’t give in, and no one can ever take this away from us.
“We’re 2013 All-Ireland champions and it feels so good. I’m so proud of them young boys. They did it and fair play to them.”
He also hailed his management team, who he said often did not get enough recognition for their efforts
“We’ve had tough times over the past few years, I’m very proud of the team and exceptionally proud of the management team, because sometimes my name gets mentioned a bit, and it shouldn’t because there’s a lot of super guys around me.
“It is hard to say how I'm feeling. I am just so, so proud of my players" - Davy Fitzgerald
It is hard to say how I'm feeling. I am just so, so proud of my players. It is nothing to do with us, it is down to them.
“We let Cork back into the game, we made it as hard as we could for ourselves but my God what character.”
The Clare boss praised Shane O'Donnell after he scored a hat-trick in the final but also noted the late goal by the player he replaced, Darach Honan.
Fitzgerald concluded: “He (O'Donnell) is an unreal young lad, some talent, but we have a lot of good young lads like that.
“Darach came on and scored a goal to finish it as well and we needed that at the end.”