Eoin Murphy says he was "surprised" when he heard that Henry Shefflin had been appointed manager of the Galway hurlers.
Murphy won All-Irelands with Shefflin in 2011, 2012, and 2014.
"Henry, always when he was playing, he was extremely driven and ambitious and I don't think you lose that just because you've retired from playing," said the Kilkenny goalkeeper at the launch of the new Avonmore Pro-Oats product.
"You can see it in him. He took up the mantle with Ballyhale when he retired straight away and you know, they probably walked through Kilkenny the years he was there.
"It's a great gig for him. The amount of good hurlers they have up there. I know from talking to one or two of the Galway boys, they're excited to start working with him whenever that will be but he is an ambitious person so to take up an opportunity like that, why wouldn't he?
"It still will be weird. I won't be going looking for his autograph or anything like that now but, no listen, it would be much worse for the Ballyhale guys because they've been soldiering with him for a good few years playing and then obviously coaching as well.
"We warned TJ as well like, if Henry's calling up looking for any information, you better kick him back out the gate."
After winning two All-Ireland club titles with Ballyhale, Shefflin was seen as the most obvious long-term successor to Brian Cody. Murphy agreed it was a "fair point" that it may have been a good idea to keep Shefflin within the Kilkenny system by appointing him minor or U20 manager.
"I’m not too sure if he was approached about anything like that," said Murphy
"From talking to the Ballyhale guys, they were very impressed with Henry.
"Do these opportunities come around every year? Probably not. I’m sure he sat down with his family and discussed that with them as well. He probably looked at it as an opportunity more than anything else, competing against Kilkenny."
Fenton and Murphy who have nine All-Ireland Championship medals between them were representing the Gaelic Players Association, of whom along with the GAA, Avonmore Protein Milk are a long-standing supporter.
Picture credit: Sportsfile