'If a player decides to retire I don't try to change their mind' - Brian Cody
Brian Cody didn't make an attempt to change the minds of any of five Kilkenny players who retired in the wake of their 10th All-Ireland title under his stewardship and neither will he be contacting Henry Shefflin about his future, he revealed yesterday.
Hailing JJ Delaney as the "greatest defender" he had ever seen, Cody said there was little point in debating departure with a player who had already made up his mind.
Tommy Walsh, Brian Hogan, Aidan Fogarty and David Herity also departed in the weeks after the replay win over Tipperary.
"I never reason with them because they have reasoned it out in their own head," he said at yesterday's Glanbia sponsorship launch in Nowlan Park.
"It's a player's absolute right to be able to make that decision and I could never try and influence them at all. I would always say to players 'it is your decision and if that's exactly what you want...'
"I would say 'there is more in you' or whatever but I wouldn't try and change their mind because they have obviously agonised over it and thought long and hard about it."
Because of retirements, club commitments and injuries Kilkenny will be without 14 of last year's squad, including the entire forward line named in the programme that started the All-Ireland final replay, for Saturday's NHL opener with Cork.
Injured trio Richie and John Power and Eoin Larkin will be joined by Ballyhale trio Michael and Colin Fennelly and TJ Reid on the sidelines. But All-Ireland winning captain Lester Ryan will be available despite the recent tragic death of his father Johnny in a farm accident.