Carter: Carey can use U-21 job as step to take over from Cody
Charlie Carter has backed DJ Carey to take the Kilkenny reins when Brian Cody eventually steps down.
Cats icon Carey has just been appointed as the county's U-21 manager, and Carter feels his former Kilkenny and Young Irelands team-mate will use the position as a springboard to land the top job.
Asked if Carey has all the credentials to be senior boss, Carter said: "Oh God yeah, after hurling with him all of my life and knowing what he's capable of.
"Look, if DJ is not going to inspire Kilkenny hurlers, we are in a bit of bother.
"And I'm sure he would have aspirations of doing the senior job down the road.
"The U-21 job is a good fit for him. There's no better high-profile man in Kilkenny to take on the job.
"We are probably in a stage of rebuilding, so it's good that he's part of it, kicking it off again."
Carey revealed that his only hesitation in accepting the job - on a one-year term - concerned his sons Sean and Mikey, who are both eligible for the U-21 grade; he insisted that both would be treated like any other player.
Carter is confident that Carey can deliver success at U-21 level as well as getting the talent flowing into Cody's set-up as the Cats look to win back the All-Ireland.
"There are always good hurlers in Kilkenny, it's about nurturing them and bringing them to the next level," he said.
"We've had a glorious 20 years. I don't see us falling off altogether - okay, we mightn't have the highs we've had for the last 20 years, but I can tell you all we are still hurling in Kilkenny and the show goes on."
Carter feels that the county had become blasé about success and perhaps didn't appreciate it enough.
"Maybe in the last four or five years it was becoming a little bit draining - we weren't getting the satisfaction we should have been getting. Take the 2015 final against Galway: winning an All-Ireland should be a euphoric occasion, and it wasn't as euphoric as it should be.
"We'll get that euphoria again - it will happen, I've no doubt, it just might take a couple of years."
Carter reckons the U-21s weren't physical enough in their All-Ireland final defeat to Limerick under Eddie Brennan, who stepped down after two years in charge.
"Our physique was a little bit weak, especially in the forwards," he said. "So it's something DJ might look at, maybe we need to be a bit stronger in the challenges,"
Carey, who will continue in his role with Carlow IT, hopes to be in a position to unveil his backroom team at next month's county board meeting.