Henry Shefflin was left to savour a tenth All-Ireland Hurling Championship medal with Kilkenny after what he described as a “rollercoaster career and a rollercoaster year”.
The Cats emerged with a three-point success, 2-17 to 2-14, in today’s replay with Tipperary at Croke Park and gave Shefflin yet another honour with the county.
He told RTÉ Sport: “It's just unbelievable, I suppose. It has been a rollercoaster career and a rollercoaster year. It has been magnificent and a testament to the two games with Tipp.
“I'm just absolutely delighted to still be involved at this stage of my career and being in games like this, whether it is sitting up there in the dugout or on the field.
“When you have two teams like Tipperary and Kilkenny playing hurling like that over the last two days, it is just a joy to be involved in that kind of situation.”
"It is just a joy to be involved in that kind of situation"
Shefflin was introduced in the final quarter as he provided a lift for Brian Cody's men as they tried to see off the determined challenge of Tipp.
He said a substitute role is not ideal but paid tribute to his team-mates.
“It is difficult because everyone wants to be playing," he said.
"Only 15 can play so you are hurling every ball and driving it on probably like all the supporters here today. It is a bit tougher on the field, to be honest!
“Once the year got going, [I knew] we had a great group of players and a great management team. It was a very hard-fought All-Ireland and it was just about winning it. We're delighted to come out the right side of a great game again.
“[The goals from the Power brothers] were the difference. The goalkeepers on both sides pulled off some great saves so it kept it nip and tuck the whole time.
"Richie has put in phenomenal work this year when he wasn't on the panel and it paid off for him. John as well, it's a great family occasion for both of them.”
Asked whether he would chase one more All-Ireland, Shefflin said he was unsure but would take huge delight in today’s victory.
“I don't know about that, to be honest,” he stated.
“But I really am going to enjoy this. It's a brilliant victory and I'm looking forward to the celebrations now.”