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JJ Delaney Was Shocked To Learn Of Henry Shefflin's Galway Appointment Via WhatsApp

JJ Delaney Was Shocked To Learn Of Henry Shefflin's Galway Appointment Via WhatsApp
By Gary Connaughton

Galway will be one of the most interesting teams to keep an eye on this summer, with the arrival of Henry Shefflin to the county sure to draw plenty of interested gazes.

The Connacht county had a decent league campaign, winning three of their five fixtures in Division 1A. While this is no doubt a long-term project, it will be intriguing to see how they cope in this year's championship.

Shefflin will bring a huge amount of top level experience to the group, as well as an impressive managerial CV at club level. This will be his first foray into inter-county management, with his appointment late last year coming as a surprise at the time. Apparently, that was even the case for those who know him well.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Henry Shefflin's former Kilkenny teammate JJ Delaney said the Ballyhale man's move to Galway came completely out of the blue despite the fact that the pair were in regular contact.

It was a surprise. There were no rumours whatsoever. Usually these things are touted two or three weeks in advance.

We're in a Whatsapp group with him, and he texted us a couple of hours before it was announced, just to let us know. I was [thinking], 'am I reading this right?'.

We couldn't believe it! 'Are you messing with us or what?'. But it was announced then. We all just said 'best of luck with it. It's a big job'.

I'd love to see him going well. He's gaining experience - selfishly from a Kilkenny point of view. He'll eventually take over Kilkenny at intercounty whenever it is, in a few years down the road. So he's gathering experience now, so he'll bring it home.

We're saying to him, 'make all the mistakes in Galway, all you want! Bring back the experience to Kilkenny!'.

Davy Fitzgerald was heavily linked with the role, with the Clare man admitting he thought it was all agreed at one point only for Shefflin to pip him to the position.

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Revitalising this Galway team is a big task, although there should be a huge opportunity to build a new side out west when you consider the underage success they have experienced in recent years. Delaney said that Shefflin will demand the absolute best from this group of players at every turn.

I'd say they're impressed by his attitude, the professionalism he brings, anything he does is 120 per cent. He doesn't do anything [half-hearted].

He sees a lot of things. 'As individuals, you have to bring a bit of teamwork to your game. Give it to the best man in the best position'. He was never a 'mé-féiner'. He was always the ultimate team player.

He'll bring work-rate to the forwards that maybe wasn't there before. He'll demand that. Any Galway player, any six forwards that get on that team, they'll have to work first and foremost.

It will certainly be interesting to see how things go for Galway this summer.

SEE ALSO: Gearóid Hegarty 'Couldn't Care Less' About Donal Óg Cusack Red Card Criticism

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