Monday 11 December 2017

Cody keeps faith with backroom team as he returns for 19th season at Cats helm

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Michael Verney

Kilkenny have shown complete faith in Brian Cody and his backroom team with the 11-time All-Ireland-winning manager last night ratified to take charge of the Cats again for 2017, his 19th season at the helm.

After relinquishing their grip on Liam MacCarthy when suffering a humbling nine-point defeat to Tipperary in this year's All-Ireland final, a rejig had been rumoured with a fresh impetus expected.

But the Kilkenny boss, showing no sign of his appetite for success abating, has displayed confidence in Laois native Michael Dempsey and former players James McGarry and Derek Lyng as they look to reclaim hurling's richest prize.

A provincial three-in-a-row, his 15th Leinster crown as manager, will be little solace for the 62-year-old, who has a remarkable record of bouncing back from seismic defeats during his illustrious managerial career.

Their 2010 final defeat to the Premier was touted to send the Cats into the wilderness but back-to-back titles followed and all eyes will be set on returning to the summit with a likely Leinster SHC opener against Davy Fitzgerald's Wexford.

As Cody, who first took the Kilkenny reins in November 1998, inches closer to the record held by legendary Meath manager Sean Boylan, who led the Royals for 23 seasons, nothing other than national honours will be viewed as a success.

Meanwhile, eight-time All-Ireland winner Eddie Brennan remains as U-21 manager despite this year's shock defeat to Westmeath while All-Ireland-winning intermediate boss Pat O'Grady takes over their minors.

Irish Independent

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