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Hurling

Limerick players were "shocked" by Fennelly's strength | Paddy Stapleton

Kenneth Fox
Kenneth Fox

07:46 1 Aug 2019


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Speaking on The Hurling Show on Off The Ball, former All-Ireland winner Paddy Stapleton said Colin Fennelly is one of the strongest forwards he's faced. 

The discussion about Fennelly began with Dublin hurling manager Mattie Kenny asking the panellists a question.

"Do you know who's becoming a really, really big player for Kilkenny this season? I think Colin Fennelly is," Kenny said.

"He's up there at full-forward and he's like an old-time centre half in soccer the way he holds the ball up."

"He's so strong and he's been left up there, whereas the other forwards go into that battle area."

"His role is key for Kilkenny and he's having such a huge season."

While forwards like T.J. Reid and Walter Walsh may get more plaudits, Stapleton thinks Fennelly is just as crucial for Kilkenny.

"The thing about the Limerick full-back line is that they're so strong. Sean Finn is so strong and so is Mike Casey."

"I don't think they have come up against as strong a man as him [Fennelly]"

"That ball that he got for the goal, I think Finn got totally shocked by it."

"For me, he's up there with Johnny Glynn and Patrick "Bonner" Maher as one of the strongest forwards I've ever come across," Stapelton said.

Besides his obvious strengths, one of his biggest assets is the grunt work he does up front by himself.

"He's powerful and fast and it's actually unnatural when you come up against him you just wouldn't think he's as strong as he is."

"He will hold that ball in there and if Kilkenny are after coming out the field and they only have one lad up front they can hit it into Fennelly," the Tipperary man said.

It's not all about brute strength and Fennelly can link-up play as well as any forward in hurling.

"He's also hugely intelligent if you look at that lay off for the Riche Hogan goal against Cork. That little angle ball that's ingenious, " Mattie Kenny said.

"So as well as using his strength he has great awareness of what's going on around him."

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