Since the time of Na Fianna, Ireland's ancient sport of hurling was used to practise and refine the art of war. Today the tradition continues, the tribal passions remain and hurling is Ireland's greatest spectator sport. But are great hurlers born or made?What are the key elements of hurling greatness? In these pages, hurling is defined by modern heroes, current and former players, managers and coaches. The result is an analysis of the fundamental skills and qualities needed, the first attempt to demystify the art of hurling. Donal Og Cusack, Pat Hartigan, Sean McMahon, Ray Cummins, Nicky English, Liam Griffin, Henry Shefflin and many others discuss the finer points and skills that make the perfect player. They recall great performances, great exponents, tricks and tactics, and openly offer advice. The result is a must-read for hurling fans, a handbook for coaches, and insights for those who want to understand this ancient game renowned for the sportsmanship and kinship of those who play it.
From Ballyhea, County Cork, Diarmuid O'Flynn is a full-time sports journalist with the Irish Examiner. His hurling career highlights were junior and intermediate county championship medals with his native Ballyhea. He followed the fortunes of nearby Newtownshandrum with some envy and traced them in his book, Club, Sweat & Tears - The Newtown Story.