Cathal Noonan/INPHO Henry Shefflin and Aidan Fogarty pictured together in 2006.
# The King
'We put the Davy Fitz going to Galway story in the WhatsApp group. Henry didn't say a word'
Aidan Fogarty says his former Kilkenny team-mate didn’t drop any hints about the appointment.

FORMER KILKENNY HURLER Aidan Fogarty says Henry Shefflin will be a good fit for Galway and believes that few other counties would have enticed him as strongly to take over as manager.

10-time All-Ireland winner Shefflin was announced as the new Galway boss last night, in what will be his first inter-county appointment.

The news came as a major shock as it was believed that Davy Fitzgerald was in line to fill the vacancy left by Shane O’Neill. Fogarty says he heard whispers linking Shefflin with the position but maintains that his former Kilkenny team-mate kept didn’t drop any hints about his new venture on their WhatsApp group.

“It’s funny you should mention the WhatsApp groups,” he said on OTB AM.

“We have our own of ex-hurlers and JJ [Delaney], Tommy [Walsh], myself and Henry are in it.

“We put up the Davy Fitz is going to Galway [story] and we were saying, ‘Jesus, that’s amazing.’ Henry didn’t say a word.

“I was actually waiting to see because I actually heard it on the grapevine that he was in contention for it and I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t say it in the WhatsApp group either but he didn’t say anything. He was cute enough.”

While Fogarty is confident that this will be a successful partnership, he’s also somewhat disappointed to lose a brilliant figure of Kilkenny hurling to another county.

“For me, there’s mixed emotions because it kind of feels like we’re losing one of our own. Galway already seem like a championship contender and they’re just going to gain all this experience and they’re gonna gain a great guy. It’s a great appointment from the county board in Galway.”

Fogarty also believes that other counties might not have attracted Shefflin’s attention the way Galway has.  

The Tribesmen playing a traditional style of hurling, according to Fogarty, one which he believes that Shefflin will enhance when the 2022 season begins.

“The actual appointment is interesting. If a Cork or maybe a Clare team approached him, I don’t think he would have gone. I think he looked at Galway and looked at what they had. Henry’s no fool either, he went in with Ballyhale who were a very good team anyway at the time. He’s gone into Thomastown who have contested the county final and league final already. So he sees potential in a team and he goes to them.

“Now the thing with Galway is that they kind of play the way Henry would like them to play. They have big, mobile men in the ranks. The likes of the Cooneys down the middle and the Burkes. Henry plays in kind of a traditional sense but his use of the ball is so important. I think he sees that in Galway and sees potential there.

“If it was another team, I don’t think he would have went but he sees that in Galway.”

Listen to the full interview here

Off The Ball / YouTube

- Originally published at 13.40

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