The Kilkenny minor team’s championship journey came to an end on Friday night with a deflating All-Ireland semi-final defeat to champions Galway at Semple Stadium.
The Tribesmen were worthy 0-23 to 1-12 victors as Kilkenny struggled to gain a foothold against the westerner’s.
Speaking after the game, Kilkenny manager Richie Mulrooney could not hide his disappointment.
He said: “I’m very disappointed. It was just a very flat performance, there’s no point in saying anything else.
“Everybody is devastated because we just didn’t perform which is a surprise considering a lot of the players were involved in the 2020 All-Ireland final just a couple of weeks ago.”
Despite the defeat, Mulrooney praised the work rate of his players and insisted that there is a “bright future” ahead for this group of players.
“I’m certain that there is a very bright future ahead for a lot of the players in a Kilkenny jersey and all of them have a great future to look forward to with their clubs too.
“This game won’t define them as players, but it is very hard to take at the moment,” said Mulrooney.
The Kilkenny manager also believes that the players can use this defeat as a motivational tool when they line-out for the county again.
“I know the character of all of those lads, and they will come back stronger after tonight and because of this defeat victories in the future in that Kilkenny jersey will be all the sweeter for them but as the manager I’m terribly disappointed for everybody involved and the supporters of Kilkenny.”
Mulrooney described Galway as “too strong” in a game that saw Galway make their fifth consecutive All-Ireland final.
“This is the fourth year now and everyone has found Galway to be too strong.
“They seem to have a march on everybody, and they simply out hurled us tonight and we have to accept that and congratulate Galway. It’s the toughest defeat that I have been involved in.”