Henry Shefflin: Over rated?

Henry Shefflin has topped another list of best hurlers. This time the Irish indos 20 20 50.

A tremendous hurler. But when you bresk it down is he, to some degree, over rated?

The basis of the question is based on 2 things. 1 the players he was surrounded by his entire career and 2 his hurling ability v some other top class players. Some examples…

Brian Corcoran Brian Whelehan and Tommy Walsh all won all ireland and all stars as defenders and forwards. Would Shefflin have done like wise had he moved to corner back or wing back for example?

Does his skill set as a hurler really stand above DJ Carey or even Joe Canning? Undeniably skilled but in the same bracket as those?

TJ Reid. Has stood like a giant for Kilkenny over the last few years when the Shefflins Larkins Brennans Wslshs Delaneys had moved on. Would Henry have carried thst Kilkenny side as well as his clubman?

Is Henry truly the best hurler to have played or is there a certain degree of counting medals and awards involved?


Fair play @Ground_hurler you will be busy over the next few days.

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I absolutely think Henry is an all time great. Has to be. But I think he’s overrated. One of the best forwards ever, but the best? Just sticking to Kilkenny, I’d have DJ ahead of him and feel you could have TJ up there too. Think Fast Eddie was underrated at the same time too.

As a defender Brian Whelehan was sensational.

No question hes a great, but the best ever? Pure hurling? Dont bring stuff into it like he was so self determined, credit to him for that end if it and the rest but im asking is he really the best out and out hurler everyone has ever seen?

No he is nt. I d pick DJ. DJ was an artist. Even people I knew who were nt big into hurling used to love watching DJ. Shefflin is a great player of course ,one of the games legends but Carey would get you out of your seat.

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it’s all subjective this .But I’d probably have Eoin Kelly as the best forward of the modern generation .
His stats are off the charts for a player who mostly played with Mediocrity throughout his career.

There’s more to hurling than being a pure stylist.
On that basis, I don’t think Shefflin can be rated highly enough.
Was he the greatest? Nobody can say for sure.


Cody once said about Shefflin that " It was hard to imagine how anyone could be better than Henry" . It would be hard to disagree with that assessment.

Whelehan was a savage hurler but the year he got an all star at full forward (where he played for 30mins) must have been wholly embarrassing for him.

Shefflin overrated? I honestly don’t know. I was a fan more of other players at the same time, but his record speaks for itself. Plus being surrounded by 14 other potential players of the year in the mid 2000’s and he still came out time after time with the goods, it’s hard to argue against the sentiments.

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No your right nobody can say for sure. But it amazes me forwards always seem to be the ones selected to hold the mantle

Think he tops AI Medals, scoring and all stars so that’s most objective metrics covered off. Also recall him having some of his best games when kk weren’t flying - 2009 final and drawn final with tipp spring to mind.

Certainly can’t think who you would have ahead of him on that type of list from players I’ve seen.

When Shefflin retired, Cody said ‘Henry got the best out of himself’. He clearly worked like a dog in training and did loads on his own. However for pure hurling skill, D.J. was different gravy and probably others were too. I certainly wouldn’t have Henry as the best of the last 20 years, never mind ever. Mind you, I’d say he’s not too bothered.

Dhera, Ring was the best ever. The grandparents and their generation all said it - they had little love for Cork, they were nearly all Tipp.
You couldn’t over rate Shefflin and all he achieved and got ‘out of himself’. I’d be interested in hearing Kk heads arguing the merits of Carey, Shefflin and Keher.

We are bordering on manufactured hurler when I listen to some of the criticism of Henry , I will put it like this I d watch John Millane and paul Flynn all day long for Waterford , but if you were building a team you’d build it around Henry end of


literally an impossible argument because it depends on what type of player you most admire, who you shouted for etc. Shefflin was a fine hurler no doubt but played alongside some greats. I wonder would he have thrived as much in a different county and would players from other counties have even been better than HS if they played for Kilkenny.

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@Ground_hurler is asking though purely on hurling ability is he the greatest. No one disputes his greatness or maybe as you say build a team around him . Is he the greatest ever ? means asking the hard questions ( I had my Eamon Dunphy voice on writing that).

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Not the greatest on the eye , if that’s the parameters, but there’s dangers in doing it that way

Likewise if calling someone the greatest hurler based in assets outside of hurling.

His determination, unreal, anymore so then ssy Kesney? Maybe maybe not. Eould Shefflins determination shone thriugh in a Dublin jersey circa 2000 to 2006 as it did with Kilkenny?

His grest scoring feats. First on the list of all time scorers but on average scores to games played he drops to 4th and is outside the top 3 as is of all time goalscorers.

So what is it that so many have decided upon to say hes the best ever. All stars? All Irelands? If so can it not be argued he was blessed to play for 15 yesrs alongside a lot of greats. DJ didnt have thst luxury nor Canning nor TJ. Would his greatness be recognised had he pkayed with Laois for example?

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His wife’s a cracker, punching well above himself if he didn’t have the hurl


You beat me to it!

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