Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy has written off 2019 as “a waste of a year” despite reaching the Leinster and All-Ireland hurling finals.
The two-time All-Star refused to look upon qualification for the finals as any sort of positive and claimed losing to Wexford and Tipperary rendered the year a failure.
The harsh summary neatly explains why Kilkenny remain the most successful county in hurling with more Leinster and All-Ireland titles than anyone else.
“I always say that at Christmas time, the only teams that will be remembered are the All-Ireland champions — and that’s Tipperary and Dublin this year,” said Murphy.
“For ourselves and Kerry, beaten in the final, there’s no use saying you’re a finalist. You get a bit of a holiday, a bit of a trip out of it as a reward.
“Other than that, there’s no difference whatsoever. Okay, we got to a Leinster final and an All-Ireland final, that’s a small bit of progress for our younger players to get that experience and hopefully they keep driving things on because they want to experience that again.
“But unless you win an All-Ireland, it’s really no use. It’s genuinely not. It’s a waste of a year, honestly.”
Kilkenny’s season ended in defeat to Tipp in the All-Ireland decider with Richie Hogan’s dismissal the giant talking point.
Murphy reckons soccer’s Video Assistant Referee (VAR) could have been useful in the Hogan situation though said “that’s where I’d draw the line” in terms of introducing such technology.
The Glenmore stopper knocked back the idea of introducing VAR to adjudicate on issues like the late 65 that wasn’t given to Limerick in the semi-final, a game Kilkenny won by a point.
Darragh O’Donovan’s sideline puck deflected off Kilkenny defender Cillian Buckley and went wide but a 65 wasn’t awarded and Murphy pucked the ball out as normal.
“Look, where do you stop?” said Murphy. “I know the Premier League are looking at it now that it’s a bit of a nuisance.
"Somebody’s toe or their knee bending in front of their leg if they’re in that sort of leaning motion (can be ruled as offside).
"Ah, come on. Maybe a second referee because the game has gone so quick.
“But for VAR, I’m not sure if it would actually work. Hurling is something that is just so free-flowing, it’s so quick and that adds to the excitement and it draws in a crowd.
"If you’re having a decision reviewed by VAR — and look, I know Hawk-Eye is there for obvious decisions — but even that 20 or 30 seconds that it might take to review decisions, you can feel the whole crowd sort of getting agitated.
"They feel like they’re not fully involved in the game so I wouldn’t be a fan of that.”