JJ Delaney has outlined the reasons behind his retirement.
Bowing out

'I knew this was my last year, so I was able to enjoy every moment' - JJ Delaney

The Kilkenny star says, whatever happened, 2014 was going to be his final season.

JJ DELANEY HAS spoken of the reasons behind his retirement this morning after an inter-county career that sees him bow out with nine All-Ireland senior titles and revealed he took the decision after Kilkenny lost the 2013 quarter-final.

The 32-year old also said that his partner Aisling was the only person who knew before the last couple of days.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Drivetime programme, Delaney said:

“The last couple of days, I’ve just had it on my mind, I just wanted to get it out in the open and now it’s a weight off my shoulders.

“It was this time last year I made the decision to give it one more push and see how it worked out.

“Whatever happened, I wanted to give myself the chance to have one final shot. I wasn’t happy with how it finished up last year but, if we’d been bet earlier, I’d still have left.

“I didn’t tell anyone apart from Aisling my girlfriend.”

And Delaney admitted that knowing every game could be the last time he pulled on a Kilkenny jersey made the 2014 season extra-special:

“It made me enjoy every moment. I took the whole year in and embraced everything throughout the year.

“And this year was one of the best, knowing the finish line was in front of me every time but, every time we won it moved one match ahead.”

Derek Lyng and JJ Delaney with Ken McGrath Delaney playing against McGrath in 2004. INPHO / Morgan Treacy INPHO / Morgan Treacy / Morgan Treacy

Delaney went on the reveal that Ken McGrath was the toughest player he ever faced, the Waterford player’s versatility reminding him of one team-mate in particular.

“Ken McGrath was the toughest player I came up against and he was very similar to Tommy Walsh in that he could play in the backs and forwards. There’s not many can do that.”

Another Kilkenny hurling legend bows out as JJ Delaney retires

Praise for JJ from Kilkenny teammates, hurling opponents and Gaelic footballers

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