Tyrrell: Farrell is 'set up nicely' to emulate Aylward after awesome Kilkenny debut
Of all the signs that Kilkenny may now never relinquish their death-grip on hurling's trinkets, Jonjo Farrell was probably the most striking.
In Portlaoise two weeks back, was a 27 year-old with no Championship start to show for his four years loitering around the Kilkenny panel, having not particularly impressed in the League and in all probability, only playing against Dublin in the absence through injury of Richie Hogan.
He went into the corner, took up arms against Oisín Gough and 1-5 later, Kilkenny had their 2016 'bolter'.
"I marked him a few times now and no, you wouldn't really have seen a 1-5 coming," admits Jackie Tyrrell by way of revelation that Farrell was not some well kept secret of a weapon Brian Cody had planned to launch at this hurling summer.
"Was he going well? Yeah. But you'd often mark lads and you might get the better of them some days, then they might be man-of-the-match the following week in an All-Ireland semi-final or final.
"It's like on any given day, you go out and do good some days and bad some days.
"But one thing with Jonjo, he's a huge work-rate and he's a huge appetite for work on the ball.
"I suppose he just got the early scores and his confidence was up. It just went on from there.
"His goal, he took it so instinctively.
"He has been doing that for a while, he's been kind of on the periphery there for a few years now.
"I suppose he's seen his chance and he took it."
And thus, comparison with the cruciate stricken Ger Aylward were inevitable.
Like Farrell, nothing much was expected from Aylward outside the Kilkenny camp this time last year, yet he scored 3-5 against Wexford in round one and nothing less than three points from play in their three Championship matches afterwards on the way to a second consecutive All-Ireland title. "You'd like to think and hope so," says Tyrrell of the possibility of Farrell following Aylward's lead.
"They're different players. They would have different strengths. Jonjo would be a pure forward, he gets great goals.
"Any time he gets the ball 25 yards out, he'll put the head down and if the goal is on, he'll take it. You'd be hoping that gives him great confidence now. Scoring 1-5 sets him up nicely now.
"But you're only as good as your last game now and training is back up," Tyrrell adds. "He'll have to show up in training."