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Michael Fennelly has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling.

Michael Fennelly has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling.

Michael Fennelly retires from inter-county hurling

By Cian O'Connell

Michael Fennelly has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling.

The brilliant Ballyhale Shamrocks clubman won eight All Ireland SHC titles and five Allianz Hurling League medals with Kilkenny.

Fennelly captained Kilkenny to All Ireland glory in 2009, and was named Hurler of the Year in 2011. With Ballyhale Fennelly has also earned three All Ireland victories.

"I have mentioned on a few occasions in the past “how your mind can get your body to go to certain places” but I feel my body has surpassed its limits at this time," Fennelly said in a statement released on Friday.

Serious injuries have ravaged Fennelly in recent campaigns. "I am very grateful to have had a fruitful 12-year tenure with Kilkenny and had the pleasure to have played with and against some of the best hurlers in the country and I owe a lot of credit to the management team over the years of Brian Cody, Mick Dempsey, Derek Lyng, James McGarry and Martin Fogarty. 

"Without their understanding and patience, I would not have been in a position to continue playing for Kilkenny during some very challenging injuries and the medical team have also been at the heart of my rehabilitation and pre-habilitation training. I owe them a debt of gratitude.

"The Kilkenny County Board have elected a new chairman in Jimmy Walsh and secretary Conor Denieffe and I would like to wish them all the best in their new roles.

"I'd also like to acknowledge the work of Ned Quinn and Barry Hickey for their relentless commitment and dedication to the Kilkenny team throughout my career."

Fennelly also highlighted the role Ballyhale played in his development. "My hurling career began at an early age with Ballyhale Shamrocks and I would like to thank all those mentors who took time to coach, influence and challenge me from childhood all the way through to the senior team," he commented.

"I would like to wish new captain Cillian Buckley and the Kilkenny team all the very best for 2018. I will be watching with anticipation and no doubt you will represent Kilkenny with pride as always."

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