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Want to know about Henry Shefflin's Kilkenny future? Wait until Ballyhale's season ends

The Kilkenny club are involved in next Sunday’s Leinster semi-final against Kilmacud Crokes.

Henry Shefflin celebrates after Sunday's Kilkenny county final.
Henry Shefflin celebrates after Sunday's Kilkenny county final.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

HENRY SHEFFLIN INSISTS he won’t make a decision about his inter-county future with Kilkenny until his club commitments have concluded.

The 10-time All-Ireland medallist helped Ballyhale Shamrocks to a 15th Kilkenny senior hurling title at the weekend.

The reward is an AIB Leinster club semi-final clash with Kilmacud Crokes of Dublin this Sunday at Parnell Park.

Shamrocks are strong favourites to advance to the Leinster final on December 7 against Kilmcormac-Killoughey, after which Shefflin would be expected to confirm his plans for 2015.

The veteran forward turns 36 in January and was reduced to an impact substitute role in this year’s Championship though is fully fit and hungry.

“There are only two games left in the Leinster club championship and we’d love to do it,” said Shefflin.

“You’re probably wondering if it defers my (inter-county) decision. Of course it does because I said I’d see how the club went and I’m delighted to have another week anyway.

“It just defers the decision. That’s what I’ve said from the outset and that’s what I’ll do. Hopefully it’ll keep going for another few weeks.”

Brian Cody celebrates with Henery Shefflin after the game Brian Cody embraces Henry Shefflin after September's All-Ireland final win Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Asked if he would ring Cody or wait for the call from the recently reappointed Kilkenny manager, Shefflin kicked to touch.

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“I don’t know, he leaves us all off to concentrate on the club, as it should be, and that’s what we’re doing,” he replied.

Shefflin gave Kilkenny supporters some room for optimism by admitting he feels fit and strong.

“I feel good, the county final wasn’t one of my best games but I’ve played well since the All-Ireland,” he said. “I feel fit, I feel fresh as obviously I didn’t play much during the year. I feel very good and I’m delighted to be still playing.

“Sometimes when you go along with Kilkenny you can tire a bit, mentally more than anything but this year I didn’t have that.”

Shefflin scored two points in Sunday’s county final win over holders Clara, helping Ballyhale to a sixth title in nine seasons.

He picked up a rare yellow card in the second-half of the encounter and conceded that it was probably for verbal abuse after a controversial free was given against him.

“It was the best shoulder I put in all day,” he said of the challenge. “I think it (the booking) was more what I said to him when I sat on the ground.”

Henry Shefflin and TJ Reid lift the Kilkenny senior trophy Henry Shefflin and TJ Reid lift the Kilkenny senior hurling trophy. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Shefflin’s county colleague TJ Reid was the game breaker with 10 points and gave a terrific display as team captain.

“He was phenomenal,” said Shefflin. “When I was starting off, TJ was only a young chap down the field. He was very skilful when he started, and he still has that, but now his all round game is top notch. He’s 27, at his prime and he’s showing that.”

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Paul Keane

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