Conor McGrath saluted Shane O'Donnell after he hit a three-goal salvo for Clare in the All-Ireland Hurling final replay in Croke Park on Saturday.
The 19-year-old was a late inclusion in the team ahead of Darach Honan and bagged three goals in 19 minutes.
The hat-trick helped Clare go on to win 5-16 to 3-16 as they won the All-Ireland for the first time since 1997.
McGrath told RTÉ Sport: "It is incredible. I don't think any of us thought we would be here this year. To get here this fast and do it in our first year is incredible.
"This team has shown a lot of character all during the year. We knew Cork were going to come back all through the match.
"It has to take a quick couple of scores here and there and a bit of luck to get over the line and thankfully we got it.
"It was a great moment for myself to score a goal but Shane O'Donnell was the real hero.
"It was his first day in Croke Park and he scored 3-03 so he is man-of-the-match, no doubt."