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Down Memory Lane: DJ The Great

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Replying To ballydalane:  "Towards the end of his career when his powers were fading, and Henry was establishing himself as the best forward in the game, there may have been an element of Henry being more popular than DJ. I think DJ's (well-earned, to be fair) reputation was such that any time he scored a routine point, the commentators would go way over the top in praise, whereas Shefflin could have scored 1-10 in the same match and not half the acclaim. And it may have rubbed some Kilkenny fans up the wrong way. Like, Kilkenny fans aren't stupid, we know DJ's a genius but don't be trying to tell us tapping the ball over the bar from the 21 is some Cu Chulainn-like act of the gods.

I recall my mother giving out about some commentator (probably Morrissey) eulogising DJ in a match where Shefflin had been the best player, along the lines of "they never shut up about DJ Carey and it's Shefflin does all the scoring". I remember a Kilkenny-Clare match in Croke Park 2004 (draw I think) where Dj was quiet and Shefflin was immense, and a KK fan near me was saying "Shefflin's ten times the player Carey is" or words to that effect.

So, there's a grain of truth to what you're saying, but I think now if you asked Kilkenny fans (of a certain age) who their favourite was of the two, the majority would say DJ. Shefflin was incredible and was the more consistent performer of the two, but didn't produce the number of "magic moments" (with apologies to Perry Como) that DJ did, and that's was people remember. I don't know if it's childhood memories playing tricks on me but I distinctly remember at his peak in the 90s, the buzz of anticipation in the crowd every time DJ got the ball (club or county, league or championship), no other player could generate it, and I don't know if any player has been about to replicate it since, even Shefflin or Canning."
Fair point but on the other hand Shefflin had plenty of quiet games and Kilkenny won and Shefflin's preformance was forgotten about. For most of DJ's career if he was quiet Kilkenny lost and he took the brunt of it.

gatha (Kilkenny) - Posts: 107 - 13/05/2020 11:56:04    2278061

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Replying To gatha:  "Fair point but on the other hand Shefflin had plenty of quiet games and Kilkenny won and Shefflin's preformance was forgotten about. For most of DJ's career if he was quiet Kilkenny lost and he took the brunt of it."
There are a couple of factors to consider. DJ played on a mediocre Kilkenny team during the peak of his career. In fact, he pretty much carried the team for about 5 or 6 years. There was a little help from Charlie Carter, but by and large if DJ didn't produce a piece of magic, or two, Kilkenny lost against the good teams. And of course, a quiet performance by DJ stood out like a sore thumb.

Henry never had to "carry" the team in the same manner as DJ as there were always 3 or 4 brilliant forwards who could do enough damage, but he was the undisputed leader of the team and oftentimes he sacrificed his own game, in terms of scores, to dig out in midfield if the game was a dogfight there. Even if Shefflin was quiet on the scoreboard, I always felt he had an immense presence on the pitch. I don't think he was ever "anonymous".

ballydalane (Kilkenny) - Posts: 1089 - 14/05/2020 11:08:46    2278113

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Replying To ballydalane:  "There are a couple of factors to consider. DJ played on a mediocre Kilkenny team during the peak of his career. In fact, he pretty much carried the team for about 5 or 6 years. There was a little help from Charlie Carter, but by and large if DJ didn't produce a piece of magic, or two, Kilkenny lost against the good teams. And of course, a quiet performance by DJ stood out like a sore thumb.

Henry never had to "carry" the team in the same manner as DJ as there were always 3 or 4 brilliant forwards who could do enough damage, but he was the undisputed leader of the team and oftentimes he sacrificed his own game, in terms of scores, to dig out in midfield if the game was a dogfight there. Even if Shefflin was quiet on the scoreboard, I always felt he had an immense presence on the pitch. I don't think he was ever "anonymous"."
they werent that mediocre.
dj had a fairly decent cast around him as well,and they won a couple of all irelands as well.players like liam fennelly,adrian ronan,john power,charlie carter,would still make any kilkenny team.

perfect10 (Wexford) - Posts: 3681 - 14/05/2020 17:15:20    2278154

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DJ was a super skilful hurler with blistering pace. When on song he was unstoppable. He almost seemed to glide around the pitch. Some of the goals he scored were amazing.
Shefflin was Mr. Reliable on the greatest hurling team of all time. He never gave onlookers the wow factor in the way he played like Eddie Brennan or Richie Hogan could on that team but was very effective.
Henry generally performed better in All Ireland finals than DJ.

bdbuddah (Meath) - Posts: 652 - 14/05/2020 22:39:28    2278192

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Replying To perfect10:  "they werent that mediocre.
dj had a fairly decent cast around him as well,and they won a couple of all irelands as well.players like liam fennelly,adrian ronan,john power,charlie carter,would still make any kilkenny team."
They were mediocre and poor management, in 98 Ronan, John Power and Eddie O'Connor weren't even on the panel. In 97 I believe Ronan was in goals Power was a sub. Power came back with Cody and won a couple of more finals. When DJ came up 1st the team was struggling Ollie Walsh put a good enough team together in 91 some veterans and younger players. Won back to back All-Irelands. Mid nineties the team wasn't good always looking for players never could get a settled squad. Then Cody came in '99 and the rest is history. We had some good droughts from 1980 to 2000 Kilkenny won 4 All-Irelands I'am not saying that is a bad return but the teams from 2000 to 2015 were once in a life time. We know what is like to take our lumps.

gatha (Kilkenny) - Posts: 107 - 15/05/2020 13:39:27    2278235

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Replying To gatha:  "They were mediocre and poor management, in 98 Ronan, John Power and Eddie O'Connor weren't even on the panel. In 97 I believe Ronan was in goals Power was a sub. Power came back with Cody and won a couple of more finals. When DJ came up 1st the team was struggling Ollie Walsh put a good enough team together in 91 some veterans and younger players. Won back to back All-Irelands. Mid nineties the team wasn't good always looking for players never could get a settled squad. Then Cody came in '99 and the rest is history. We had some good droughts from 1980 to 2000 Kilkenny won 4 All-Irelands I'am not saying that is a bad return but the teams from 2000 to 2015 were once in a life time. We know what is like to take our lumps."
well they still won 2 all irelands in 1992 and 1993,could have won another in 1991,could have won 1 in 1996 but for dj being injured against us.
by the late 90s they were done but they were a fair team in the early 90s.i think we should know,they inflicted enough pain and suffering on us!

perfect10 (Wexford) - Posts: 3681 - 15/05/2020 15:44:53    2278249

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Replying To gatha:  "They were mediocre and poor management, in 98 Ronan, John Power and Eddie O'Connor weren't even on the panel. In 97 I believe Ronan was in goals Power was a sub. Power came back with Cody and won a couple of more finals. When DJ came up 1st the team was struggling Ollie Walsh put a good enough team together in 91 some veterans and younger players. Won back to back All-Irelands. Mid nineties the team wasn't good always looking for players never could get a settled squad. Then Cody came in '99 and the rest is history. We had some good droughts from 1980 to 2000 Kilkenny won 4 All-Irelands I'am not saying that is a bad return but the teams from 2000 to 2015 were once in a life time. We know what is like to take our lumps."
Ronan was in goal in '97- I think it was a man called James Dermody

Oldertourman (Limerick) - Posts: 94 - 17/05/2020 10:31:29    2278444

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Replying To gatha:  "Fair point but on the other hand Shefflin had plenty of quiet games and Kilkenny won and Shefflin's preformance was forgotten about. For most of DJ's career if he was quiet Kilkenny lost and he took the brunt of it."
I know this might sound daft but I always felt Henry got a small bit more credit than he was due because he was called Henry . Even Shefflin is an unusual sounding surname.The media were'nt long latching on to the "King" title and the rest as they is history . It helped of course that he was a brilliant hurler and always came across as a very sound fella but he definitely used it to his advantage on the field whether intentional or not. Now it might be because he was so competitive but he was constantly wagging that finger at referees and getting away with it. Even Jackie admitted as much in his book. Still an all time great along with DJ,and no one can argue with his record,but for me JJ might have been the best of all

UtahBlaine (Galway) - Posts: 21 - 17/05/2020 11:31:18    2278450

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