Saturday 15 December 2018

'I just can't see any logic whatsoever in it' - Martin Breheny rubbishes commentary suggesting Brian Cody should step down

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Kilkenny hurling is going through a difficult period but Brian Cody is the man to navigate them through choppy waters, according to Irish Independent GAA correspondent Martin Breheny and Waterford legend John Mullane.

A dramatic shoot-out defeat to Wexford in a Walsh Cup final was followed up last weekend by a 1-23 to 0-23 defeat to Cork under the LED lights at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

With Richie Hogan out injured, Michael Fennelly retired, Paul Murphy and Colin Fennelly on duty with the Defence Forces until April and TJ Reid just returning from injury, the 11-time All-Ireland winning manager is operating with a depleted squad when the Cats were already in a transitional preiod.

There have been calls in recent years for Cody to step aside and take up a 'director of hurling' role and these assertions were echoed by Eamonn Sweeney in yesterday's Irish Independent.

Speaking on Independent.ie's GAA podcast 'The Throw-In' in association with Allianz, Martin Breheny questioned the reasoning behind calling for the James Stephens' man to stand aside.

"I disagree 100pc with it. Now is when Kilkenny need Brian Cody most of all," he said.

"He's generally regarded as the best hurling manager of all-time and if he was managing them through the good times when they were going well.

"Just to put some context and perspective into it. This was the first round of the league, Kilkenny lost to Cork (the Munster champions) in Cork, what's the issue here?

"If this was a new manager or say if someone came in last year and he was in his second season, I don't think anyone would be saying that his time was up. Is it because Cody is there so long?

"I just can't see any logic whatsoever in that. Most of all they need him now, the experience and everything that he has brought to Kilkenny and to hurling. They need him now because they are in a transition phase I suppose, they don't have the material they had through the great years for the simple reason that no one ever had that, he's got to deal from a different hand now but he is the man to deal with that hand and time will show that.

"The chances of him leaving mid-season are about the same chance of me taking over from him.

"What would it achieve?

"They're still in the top four teams in the country. It's very tight at the top at the moment, very competitive and Kilkenny are right in there and will be in there."

Mullane was in agreement with Breheny and believes that the Cats' performance on Saturday evening showed a lot of promise.

"I totally echo what Martin said. It's over the top

"I elaborated on Saturday's paper that it could well be a sticky league for Kilkennt considering the personnel they were going to be down.

"I was at the game Saturday night and from a Killkenny's supporters' point of view, you would be very encouraged by what you saw.

"I think they only need to find three or four players to go and challenge the big guns again come the summer time.

"You look at the likes of Richie Reid and James Maher, who was back at the weekend, and played extremely well.

"I think it's a bit premature. Brian Cody is the man.

"The easiest thing for the man to do would be to walk away with his record intact but he's not. He's up for the challenge."

Kilkenny host Clare on Sunday at Nowlan Park.

Subscribe to The Throw-In, Independent.ie's weekly GAA podcast in association with Allianz, for the best in GAA discussion and analysis every week, with some of the biggest names in football and hurling from Joe Brolly, Tomás Ó'Sé and John Mullane.

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