In his upcoming autobiography, retired Kilkenny legend Henry Shefflin confronts 'communication problems' he had with manager Brian Cody as his career was drawing to a close in 2014.
In an extract published in the Irish Indpenedent today, Shefflin writes that although he continues to hold his former coach in high regard, he laments that his exclusion from the Kilkenny starting 15 altered the strong relationship they shared for 16 seasons.
'I felt communication could have been better and I told him that. Eventually. There were certainly fewer chats between us as the dynamic of the relationship changed. Do I consider him a friend? Yes. But will we ever be buddy-buddy types, on the phone every second evening, chatting away for hours? No'
The extract goes on to address the mental torment Shefflin endured in losing his place and how it juxtaposed with the certainty of starting in previous seasons. A litany of injuries, coupled with Shefflin's age prompted Cody to revise his role for the 10 time All-Ireland winner which the star hurler admits left him feeling 'bruised.'
Shefflin also recounts his struggles in the drawn All-Ireland final against Tipperary when he was requested to warm-up three times during the game before being dispatched for the final three minutes. Shefflin says:
'When we drawn the 2012 final, I departed the field, completely pumped by the performance I'd given. Now I was, it seemed, a three-minute man.'
The autobiography, entitled Henry Shefflin, will be published on September 22.