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Brian Cody illustrates ruthless streak needed to succeed

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Brian Cody

Brian Cody

SPORTSFILE

Brian Cody

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody has said that Joe Brolly has missed the point by describing inter-county GAA players as "indentured slaves", but admits that a ruthless streak is required to play at the top level.

Brolly has re-opened the debate on player welfare in Gaelic Games by stating that expecting professional attitudes and training to an amateur game has a damaging effect, particularly away from the GAA where many inter-county players put their professional ambitions to one side for the sake of the game.

However the 10-time All-Ireland winning manager disagrees with the opinions of the outspoken RTE pundit and says that players and managers willingly sacrifice themselves for the enjoyment of the game.

Speaking in UCD on Monday night, Cody gave an insight into his own thoughts on the demands of the modern-day inter-county player and refutes any references to slavery.

"There has been huge amount of talk in the last few weeks about the life of top sportspeople across all codes and the fact it's going to be so short," he is quoted as saying in The Irish Examiner. "It's been said that it's akin to slavery what's required now at the top level of sport. That you've no life, that you have no career, that you've nothing except you're being slaughtered essentially.

"I just think that a lot of people are missing the point completely," he said. The reason why any of us are involved in sport from day one and the reason why any of us stay involved in sport is because you enjoy it."

Giving the example of the recently retired Tommy Walsh, Cody admitted that he thought the Cats star would "hurl forever" because he enjoyed the game so much.

"He'd train seven nights of the week and that wasn't being a slave; that was because he loved it."

The decorated manager also illustrated the ruthlessness required to succeed at the highest level when describing what he loves about the game, the "fabulous spirit" when two teams take to the field to compete.

"People say going out in a match that 'we're prepared to die to win this game' but that's a dangerous thing to say. You should never say you're prepared to die to win. You should always be prepared to kill to win a game. That's the difference."

Online Editors