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On the week that Kilkenny were aiming to win a 37th All-Ireland title, Jackie Tyrrell was also attempting to become just the second player in GAA history – after Henry Shefflin – to win ten All-Ireland medals.
Kilkenny were beaten in that final by Tipperary but Tyrrell’s inner-most thoughts from his diary, both in the lead-up to, and after the game, provide the narrative to a compelling life story. His unique insights paint the picture of a relentless individual and a relentless team – the most successful side in the history of Irish male sport.
The intrigue and aura around Kilkenny coach Brian Cody and his players was always heightened because very little ever emerged from the camp, or the dressing room. Now, for the first time, Tyrrell opens a unique window into the elite mindset and attitude which forged such unprecedented success.
Tyrrell’s own journey is chronicled with brutal and unwavering honesty. The hurling legend’s constant drive to be a winner with his beloved county have pushed him towards breaking point many times. Tyrrell operates somewhere between obsessed and maniacal. On the pitch, he displayed the ruthless mentality of an assassin but behind it all, he had to conquer crippling self-doubt and fear.
It took until his fourth successive All-Ireland final for Tyrrell to believe he had finally arrived as a senior inter-county hurler, going on to become one of the most feared and respected defenders in the game.