By Kevin Regan
They say leaders don’t create followers. They create more leaders.
If ever there was an example of this it’s Kilkenny Senior Hurling Captain Shane Prendergast.
Yesterday I was faced with the unenviable task of having to get post match audio from members of the losing team, which any journalist will tell admit is difficult regardless of how well you prepare for it.
However my job was made much easier by the manner in which the Clara man accepted defeat and crucially the positive outlook which he had on the whole situation.
Not only had Shane experienced a devastating result but he also missed out on what could be his last ever chance to walk up the steps of the Hogan Stand to receive the Liam McCarthy Cup as Captain of Kilkenny.
It would have been very understandable if Prendergast portrayed a picture o gloom and devastation and I’m sure he was deep down. But he didn’t sulk, kept his head up and showed why he was elected captain of his county for 2016.
It’s these little things that convey an element of class.
The game had only finished less than 30 minutes previously and already Shane was looking ahead to 2017 and getting back to a position to take top honours yet again.
Eoin Murphy was immense in goal for Kilkenny yesterday, but he also showed his class after the game by agreeing to talk first of all and then provided one of the quotes of the year by stating that “Next Year Starts Tomorrow.”
Conor Fogarty also kindly spoke to KCLR and didn’t shy away from the fact that Kilkenny were outclassed and outfought in most sectors. He too will bounce back and have bigger days.
There had been a perception that Kilkenny don’t like losing, but at the end of the day who does?
The one big lesson that I learned yesterday is that the Kilkenny Team are every bit as classy in defeat as they have been in victory and Shane Prendergast epitomises this.
With this sort of level headed outlook you would foolish to write off this Kilkenny side, and I for one would not like to be meeting them in 2017!
Click Here To Listen To The Interview