Thursday 14 December 2017

Carter: DJ greatest - Henry best team man


you could see that this lad was here to stay and had all the talents," Carter told The Herald.

"A few years later he moved to another level, and then moved to be one of the greatest hurlers of all time."

Just how great, is the inevitable question? "DJ was probably the greatest hurler of all time - but Shefflin was probably the greatest team man of all time," is Carter's own summation.

"As a stick man, Carey in my eyes would still be top of the guys I have seen whereas Shefflin … to come back from all the injuries he has had is incredible. The dedication the man has shown over the years is incredible.

"I can still see a 'pic' at home, from the '99 All-Ireland team that was beaten by Cork, and he was standing in the back row with a pudgy face. Definitely, with time, he really, really looked after himself. I don't think any amateur has been as dedicated as Henry Shefflin.

"And the one thing above all - on the field he led by example. He didn't demand any more out of others than he demanded of himself - and he demanded a lot of himself," he concluded.

Both Carter and Michael Duignan highlighted the "nice guy" and grounded individual that Shefflin is away from the game. But in his theatre of battle, he is a "fierce competitor" possessed of a certain "aura", according to Duignan.

The Offaly All-Ireland winner added: "The 2000 final was his first (All-Ireland win) and my last. Even then he was phenomenal.

"The presence he had at such a young age was incredible, but he has developed definitely into one of the greatest players.

"I don't know how you judge players from different eras. Himself, JJ Delaney and Tommy Walsh would be the greatest of this generation … I don't know could you divide them, but they were the three who really made this Kilkenny team great."

And now, in one fell swoop, all three are gone.

shefflin retirement

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