Hurling hands: Kyle Hayes - ‘My granddad’s hands are huge. It’s where mine come from’

Hurling hands: Kyle Hayes - ‘My granddad’s hands are huge. It’s where mine come from’

Limerick’s All-Ireland winner Kyle Hayes on his powerful hands and the hurleys he stores in the shed on the family farm

"I suppose the hands are big enough — big palms anyway, the fingers aren’t that long.

"My grandfather, though... I know you’d often hear from people that their fathers and grandfathers have big hands, but my grandfather’s hands are huge. Shovels. Exceptionally big. I’d say that’s where they come from.

"I haven’t had too many injuries. I broke the little finger on the left hand playing freshers against DCU — Anthony Daly was over us the same day.

"I broke it in extra time but I didn’t get anything done with it afterwards, which is probably why it looks a bit gammy there. Apart from that — black nails, a few cuts. Nothing serious.

"There isn’t a specific exercise or anything I do to build them up. Working on the farm is good for that!

"I go down to Wexford for hurleys, Declan Barron makes them. Tom Condon had one of his and I liked it, so I rang Declan and asked him to send on a few. I enjoyed them, so I stuck with his ones.

"I go in between in terms of weight, not too heavy, not too light. You can’t be as wristy with a heavy one.

Hurling hands: Kyle Hayes - ‘My granddad’s hands are huge. It’s where mine come from’

"Dressing them, I’m not too bad, not too obsessed. I put medical tape on first on the grip to make it that bit chunkier, and then when that’s finished I put a soft medical tape around the top of the hurley - for comfort, really as I don’t like feeling the top of it.

"That’s about it. Someone like Barry Hennessy could spend an hour putting a grip on his hurleys, I wouldn’t be that bad!

At the start of the year I get about 12 hurleys and I’d grip three of them straightaway. I’d use the best of those and store the rest in a shed on the farm at home.

"I’d stick with the one as long as I could. If it breaks but can be repaired I’d much rather that, for some reason. I don’t know if it’s the look of it or what. I know Tom Morrissey is the same, he’d give a hurley to his brother Paddy and if Paddy breaks it in a game then, Tom takes it back and bands it and uses it himself.

"There’s a few more like that — the Caseys would do that as well, break the hurleys and then band them to play with.

"Skillwise, David Dempsey and Colin Ryan’s hands must be up there with the best in the country.

"They can put the ball over from the 65, it’s literally a flick of the wrists and gone, over the bar. A serious gift.

"Other counties? John Donnelly has great wrists, good in the air, very accurate, can do it all. He’s class. And Bubbles (John O’Dwyer), of course. He’s out of the world.

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