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Cody will stick to his guns


Kilkenny manager Brian Cody

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody

Much has changed since Brian Cody's first All-Ireland SHC final press night 20 years ago but his management principles haven't.

While the tactical side of things has intensified and the Kilkenny boss has adapted their style where necessary, the basic requirements to don the black and amber shirt are still the same.

"Honesty of effort" is something Cody regularly spouts and it was never more relevant than in their semi-final defeat of Limerick, where they outworked the defending All-Ireland champions and dumped them out of the championship.

Without that mentality, players have no place in Cody's plans.

"You see it very quickly. It is easy to make the ball talk if you have that sort of skill. But most of the time it is about honesty of effort. You are always being tested, in training, club matches or whatever. You can see leadership," Cody said.

"You can see honesty a mile away. It is so important to have that. You can't switch it on and off. It is either what you do or don't. It is brilliant to have players who do it. Players who haven't those qualities haven't a hope of surviving."

Few gave the Cats any chance of making it to this year's All-Ireland final during a transitional period. Others may have lost the faith but Cody never did, as he re-iterated last week.

"The ambition at the start of the year was to be in the All-Ireland final. When people speculated on who might be there we weren't one of the teams. That was fair enough, but we knew we had to continue to build.

"We didn't have a very successful League. We were working towards the championship.

"I said at the start of the year that I would have confidence in the players. I really believed there was serious talent, serious honesty there. We just kept things going, and here we are."

Here Cody is - on the brink of his 16th All-Ireland SHC final as manager.