"I'll never be Henry Shefflin" - TJ Reid on Kilkenny hurling royalty and chasing a third consecutive All-Ireland

The Kilkenny hurler also spoke about Ger Loughnane’s comments about the squad

Henry Shefflin, TJ Reid, Kilkenny

Henry Shefflin and TJ Reid t ©INPHO/James Crombie

TJ insists that Kilkenny hurling legend, Henry Shefflin is the "king of hurling" and says that personal success in the All-Ireland isn't a motivating factor for him

"I'll never be Henry Shefflin," he said, “He's the king of hurling. I'm doing the best for myself and I'm looking to do my best out on the hurling field and looking to be the best out there.

"Certainly, I watched Henry from a young age and he's luckily from Ballyhale. I went training with him. He brought me training, he brought me home from training. I did learn a lot from him. His work ethic is on and off the field is phenomenal.

"All the legends that have retired have those ingredients. You have to be honest, you have to be 100% committed. The spirit has to be 100% each time you go into that dressing room and hit that field. Every time you hit that white line in Nowlan Park; train hard; put your bodies on the line and then off the field you can wind down.

"They did leave a lot behind for us to pick on. So it is a lot easier for us because we watched those lads do it for so many years. When things were down in the dressing room, those boys stood up and were counted."

Kilkenny come off the back of a 6-20 to 14 points victory over Offaly and Reid maintains that it’s manager Brian Cody alone who motivates the squad.

TJ Reid displays the Liam McCarthy Cup to the crowd at Nolan Park ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

"Look, the All-Irelands are there alright, I have seven. I have a few more years, hopefully. I'm 28 and I'll go for as long as my body can push me. Jackie has nine, he's going for ten. That doesn't come into the dressing room.

"Certainly Brian Cody doesn't use that to motivate an All-Ireland. We more motivate ourselves because we love the competition, we love the big games, we love getting on a bus and coming to Croke Park. That's what you dream of as a young lad and that's why you train you guts out; it's to get to Croke Park.

"All-Irelands and bonuses and All-Stars, Hurlers of the Year - they're there for the mantlepiece. They're there for writing down on your CV. In terms of winning that Liam McCarthy Cup - knowing how much work you put in, knowing how many times you went to the gym, knowing how much you sacrificed - when you lift that cup, nothing beats that feeling. Then you can talk about how many All-Irelands you have."

Reid also echoed Colin Fennelly’s sentiments and insisted that the Kilkenny hurlers have taken no notice of the Ger Loughnane’s comments that his side are “functional beyond belief”.

The 28-year-old also shrugged off the idea that Kilkenny are a one man team.

"We didn't react at all to be honest,” he said, “We don't sit down and bring up what people say in the paper to be honest.

"It doesn't bother me. Ger Loughnane is trying to sell newspapers and trying to get people to read papers so he's entitled to his opinion. That's his job.

"The last two years we've won the All-Ireland fair and square. We beat Galway and we beat Tipperary so I don't see why he was saying that. We won those two games fair and square so I can't really see why he's questioning that.

"There certainly won't be any pictures going up on the walls saying 'Ger Loughnane this and Ger Loughnane that'. But look, he's entitled to his opinions, like anyone else."

He also addressed the accusation that the Kilkenny are just reliant on a certain player, insisting that the team is full of leaders.

"One player doesn't win any game. On that the Fitzgibbon Cup final between WIT and LIT, Joe Canning scored 1-16 that day and still lost so hurling is a 15, 20 man game, one man doesn't win it.

“For myself, I'm doing the best for myself and I'm doing the best for the team as well but we have a good panel of players there that are competing for a starting 15 jersey.

"You show your leadership on the field. Brian doesn't emphasise it, you don't have to be making big speeches before games, we don't do that, we do our talking on the hurling field.

"The management and the selector's job is to motivate us before and at half-time, leading up to the game that's their job, my job is to look after myself and make sure I'm 100 percent right for each game and let my hurling do the talking on the field but look, it's my tenth year on the senior hurling team so I have to be performing to my best."

TJ Reid was speaking at the launch at the launch of the GAA’s Cúl Camps which will run up and down the country in local clubs.