Sport Hurling

Saturday 19 August 2017

Leave this game alone or you will destroy it, insists Cody

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

LEAVE hurling alone. That is the plea from Brian Cody, who believes the massive physicality of Sunday's All-Ireland hurling final provided a perfect blueprint for how officials should allow the game be played.

Referee Brian Gavin awarded only 24 frees during the game.

Eight-time winning manager Cody has recently agreed to join the GAA's hurling rules review committee and he admitted "my only big concern is that they would try to dilute the essence of the game which is, man for man, the ball must be won. That means getting in with your body and using it.

"There has been a concerted effort made by I don't know who to take the whole physicality out of the game. If they don't stop messing with it, they will destroy it.

"The people who are tampering with this do not understand the unique skill of positioning yourself to defend yourself, that you never get hit, that you're never in the slightest bit of bother. The greatest skill in hurling, for me, will always be the skill of winning the ball, tackling and dispossessing... getting in with your body."

At 5'10", Kilkenny's Tommy Walsh is one of their smallest players but is also one of their best fielders and most combative players.

"Tommy epitomises everything that is not just special but superlative about the game," Cody stressed. "He is the proof of the pudding. Who needs protection?

"Your skill is your protection, your skill, your positioning, your body, your instinct. That's all the protection you need. Just leave the game alone."

Irish Independent

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