This week the news broke that Henry Shefflin was going in as Manager of his own club Ballyhale Shamrocks.
The news may have been somewhat of a surprise to many but for me it was always going to be a natural progression for one of the games greatest, although I suspected he may try give it one last hurrah with the club on the playing field if he could keep himself right after another injury he picked up this year.
A lot of the time in GAA a Manager will cut his teeth at underage level before taking on an Adult side and Henry has obviously helped out with different teams but this really is a big jump for him.
I think Managing your own club is a huge honour and it’s something I’d love to do at some stage with Leighlinbridge or Naomh Brid in the future, however it also brings it’s own pressure.
For someone like Henry it will probably be easy to gain the respect of the players in the dressing room given what he has won and done for the game of Hurling.
But it could change in a heartbeat for any number of reasons. You might drop someone that you played with for years. You might play someone in a role that they haven’t played in regularly and may not enjoy and all of a sudden a player might change his opinion of you.
At that stage it won’t matter if you have 10 All Ireland’s to your name, someone will still think you are a d**ckhead if they disagree with what you’re doing even if you are 110% correct!
Management in GAA is a tough game.
You have to be a shrewd tactician. You have to know the individual you’re dealing with and be able to get inside their head to figure out the best way of getting the best out of them.
You nearly have to be a trained psychologist at this stage because each player responds to different methods of approach in different ways so you too have to do that at times and every now and then you might have compromise your own methods.
You must set your stall out early on and let everyone in the dressing know what you are about and what the goal is, what it will take to get there and what is expected of the players and what the players can expect from you as the Manager.
Kilkenny Hurling Kitman Denis Rackard Cody says that Henry will be a big benefit to Ballyhale Shamrocks as Manager.
But he issued a caution to one of the games greatest as well while speaking to KCLR.
“Henry is a great guy and a great ambassador for the game.
“I’m sure Ballyhale will benefit from his experience, but just because you have won 9 or 10 All Irelands doesn’t mean you will create miracles in a club. Thing’s could change in a second for you.
“It could work out for him, they have a great tradition and a great team down there but they aren’t as good as they used to be.
“He is coming in at a tough time but I think he will motivate them and they will get on well,” he said.
It’s solid advice to be fair.
Just look at some of the examples from other Sports.
Diego Maradona was unbelievable on the field of play but had a very underwhelming time as Manager of Argentina. They barely qualified for the World Cup in 2010 and were hammered 4-0 by Germany in the Quarter Finals.
On the flip side Jose Mourinho was a below average player but look what he has won in the game since. League titles in the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and the Portuguese League too as well as winning the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan.
It will certainly be very interesting to see how Henry gets on and I would like to wish him the very best of luck in his Management career.
He has always been very easy to interview when we have him on here at KCLR and if he enjoys even a fraction of success as a Manager as he did as a Player then it won’t turn out too bad for him at all.