Shefflin to reflect on future over ‘next couple of months’

Kilkenny star Henry Shefflin remains non-committal on his inter-county future — but revealed that he is looking forward to making a decision later in the year.

Speaking on RTÉ’s ‘Second Captains Live’ last night, the 10-time All-Ireland SHC medallist confirmed that he is still contemplating whether or not to extend an incredible career.

Shefflin, 35, has been tipped to slip into retirement following last month’s incredible achievement but whenever he does, he will reflect with huge satisfaction on his ability to recover from a string of serious injury problems.

The Ballyhale Shamrocks clubman suffered cruciate knee ligament damage twice and also recovered from shoulder and foot problems in recent years.

Shefflin said: “Whenever I do reflect in the next couple of months, whether I leave it at that or continue to go, when I look back on my career for me personally it will be the challenges, injuries, not playing this year.

“How you overcome these things will make you as a person or sportsperson.

“That’s what I’ll reflect on most. To come back from injuries, to get over them and come back and play to the highest level gives me the most satisfaction in my career.”

Shefflin also admitted that he could understand the intense scrutiny surrounding his future.

He said: “Definitely. I’m 35 years of age. I’ve had four serious injuries and people feel like I’ve been around forever.

“This question has been asked for the last three or four years. I don’t agree with it but I can totally understand it.

“Where my head is is that I’m looking forward to making that decision this year.

“Last year I would have given you the same answer but I knew in my heart that I was definitely going back. This year is a different situation.”

Shefflin added: “I’m afraid I’ll miss it so much more than anything else. I’ll absolutely look forward to and cherish what’s coming next.

“It’s absolutely brilliant but everybody will go back to the enjoyment of being part of it. I get so much enjoyment out of it and learned so much that I’ll take on to the next phase of my life.”

When asked if he would be interested in becoming a manager, Shefflin responded: “I don’t want to be a manager, definitely not! Tough job!”

Meanwhile, former Waterford boss Michael Ryan was last night installed as new Westmeath senior hurling team manager — as clubs voted to shoot down a proposal to appoint Peter Leahy to the football post.

Leahy was the preferred choice of county board officials to succeed Paul Bealin in the Lake County hot seat — but delegates shot down his candidacy on a vote of 24-19.

Leahy, who was joint manager when the Westmeath ladies won the All-Ireland intermediate title in 2011, had former Mayo star Liam McHale (coach) and selectors Tommy Kenny and Michael Reynolds on his ticket.

The news that Ryan is on board as hurling boss was passed without any objection from the floor and he will also take over the county’s U21s.

But the rejection of Leahy represents a major blow to the county board’s top brass.


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