Henry Shefflin to decide on his inter-county future within 'within the next week'
Will he stay or will he go
The end is in sight - for journalists and Henry Shefflin. After months of badgering the forward about his future it seems that in the next few days we are finally about to know whether or not the 36-year old will continue for another season with Kilkenny. The most decorated hurler of all time scooped another All-Ireland medal this afternoon when he scored 0-2 in Ballyhale's 1-18 to 1-6 win over Kilmallock.
The record points scorer in the championship has been delaying revealing his future career plans for the last number of months after speculation increased that he would quit folowing Kilkenny's 35th All-Ireland success last September.
He then revealed that he would announce his decison at the end of the club campaign - and despite its conclusion today Shefflin admits that there may be just a little bit longer to wait. Today, after he was once again ensnared by reporters outside the press centre in the bowels of Croke Park, the Irish sporting legend revealed his current state of mind.
'I'm fed of being asked and yer probably fed up of asking it and me pushing it off. We've all come to a final and this is it now. So I'm going to enjoy the celebrations for a day or two and then this weekend I'm going to reflect on it and make my decisions then. Within the next week I have to make it - I can't put it off any longer. I've been in the privileged position to be able to push it off because we did so well with the club. I'm very happy where I am at and it's make your mind up time, you know. There is no club to focus on - the championship starting again in Kilkenny soon enough. The decision to make is whether I go back with Kilkenny. Today is not a factor.'
Shefflin grabbed a point in either half as Ballyhale secured their sixth All-Ireland title this afternoon swatting aside the challenge of Kilmallock in the process.
'It's the end of a long campaign and things came right for us this year. Over the last few years we've been struggling with injuries and I think we had a full panel to pick from and everything just fell into place and once we had that we showed we're the best team in the country this year.'
Joey Holden was named the man of the match in a supreme defensive display that forced Kilmallock into 10 first half wides while only conceding 0-4 in the opening 30 minutes and just a further three scores after the break. The young Kilkenny man is tipped to be the successor to JJ Delaney as the county full back. Shefflin was full of praise for his young clubmate
'Joey, since he came in, I've been very impressed with him. His brother played in the last All-Ireland and Joey has good stuff about him. I think he'll make a great captain of Kilkenny because it's not about talk, it's about performing and action on the field. We see that with Joey in training and he gets the performance like that today.'
Whether Shefflin will be around to see Holden leading Kilkenny out in either league or championship action should be known in the next few days. The King may be about to vacate the throne.