Saturday 23 September 2017

'I'd prefer to play Kilkenny' - Ex-Galway boss Cunningham gives honest assessment of Leinster rivals

6 September 2015; Kilkenny manager Brian Cody and Galway manager Anthony Cunningham at the end of the game. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Kilkenny v Galway, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
6 September 2015; Kilkenny manager Brian Cody and Galway manager Anthony Cunningham at the end of the game. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Kilkenny v Galway, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Kilkenny often undid Galway during Anthony Cunningham's time in charge but the former Tribesmen manager said he would still rather face the Cats rather than Wexford in this year's Leinster final if he was still on the line.

Galway are overwhelming favourites to see off Offaly and advance to the provincial decider where they would play either Wexford or Kilkenny. Wexford have been revitalised since Davy Fitzgerald took charge this season, winning promotion from Division 1B and booking their Leinster semi-final place after beating Laois comfortably.

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Brian Cody brings his side to Wexford Park on Saturday week in an eagerly anticipated clash, and speaking on today's episode of The Punter's Platford, Cunningham, who led Galway to two All-Ireland finals, says he thinks his old side would be better off facing Kilkenny.

"Yeah, definitely surprised that the odds are really for Kilkenny," Cunningham said to Johnny Ward about the Cats' heavy favourites tag.

"Wexford, and they proved it against Laois there, looked extremely fit and physical. Jack Guiney can come in off the bench and cause furore. They have a really strong panel. I can tell you, I would prefer, if I was the Galway manager or one of the players, I would prefer to play Kilkenny in a Leinster final. I do think if Wexford come over Kilkenny, and it is an even match, I wouldn't like to be facing Wexford in a Leinster final.

"Wexford will absolutely fill the place and the energy the players would bring to a Leinster final would be dangerous."

It was also pointed out that Kilkenny have lost some key players over the last few years.

"Everyone knows that the Kilkenny level is not at the level that it was in the past seven or eight years," Cunningham added.

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