Larkin questions workrate of young Kilkenny hurlers following Clare defeat

Retired Kilkenny hurler Eoin Larkin has defended the comments he made about the county’s young hurlers following their record loss to Clare on Sunday.

The Cats were dismantled 2-19 to 0-12 by the Munster men in what was Brian Cody’s biggest ever defeat as Kilkenny manager, and Larkin took to Twitter to question the workrate of the younger players involved in the panel. It raised eyebrows around the country as Larkin has only been out of the Kilkenny setup since last September, and having an eight-time All-Ireland winner and former teammate criticise the players would have cut deeper than most pundits’ critiques.

Speaking on Newstalk’s Off the Ball last night, Larkin explained his comments.

“My phone hasn’t stopped going since last night. Look, I was merely expressing an opinion and I’m sure other people have different opinions, but I certainly wasn’t slamming any of the younger lads. I know there’s great young lads in there and it’ll probably take them time to adjust to county level. I know I certainly didn’t set the world alight when I started, I was just expressing an opinion,” he said.

“There’s certainly bundles of skill that they have; it wasn’t that that frustrated me, it was literally the workrate. I’m not expecting miracles from them – that has to come in time as well- but I expected a small bit more out of them yesterday I suppose.

“That’s what we would have associated with Kilkenny over the years. Your starting point was the workrate and then the hurling took over. I was hugely disappointed with the workrate yesterday. In saying that, I know there’s still a couple of injuries to come back and more experienced lads, and that could certainly help the younger lads. I’d be expecting a better show against Cork hopefully in two weeks’ time.”