Monday 26 August 2019

'If I didn't feel like doing it, I wouldn't do it' - Brian Cody still loving his job as he faces into 18th decider

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody poses for a portrait following a press conference ahead of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Championship Final at Langton House Hotel in Kilkenny. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Kilkenny manager Brian Cody poses for a portrait following a press conference ahead of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Championship Final at Langton House Hotel in Kilkenny. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick

Brian Cody says he enjoys managing Kilkenny as much now as when he first did the job in 1999.

"I enjoy doing what I'm doing and that's the reality. I mean I could dress it up and come up with all sorts of fanciful things but there are none.

"I've been sort of involved in hurling from playing to coaching all my life. Why? Because I enjoy it. And I enjoy it easily as much now as ever.

"It's not a job. I don't have to get up and do this every single year. I don't have to do it at all. And if I didn't feel like doing it, I wouldn't do it. There is no mystery to it," said Cody, who will be involved in his eighteenth All-Ireland final as a manager – including replays – on Sunday week.

At the team's pre-All-Ireland press conference Cody – who has guided the Cats to 11 MacCarthy Cup wins – acknowledged that at the start of the year most observers had not included the Cats in their list of potential All-Ireland finalists.

"When people were speculating on potential All-Ireland finalists we weren't one of the them and that's fair enough. We just continued to build and keep it going. We didn't have a very successful league campaign or anything like that. But all the time we were working away.

"I said at the start of the year as I always say that I would had huge confidence in the players and the panel. I really believed there was serious talent and serious honestly there. And we kept going and here we are."

Cody insisted that they never dwelt too much on the injuries they endured during the season. "There was no point in me talking about the talent in the panel and then panicking because there are two or three players missing. That's where your panel comes into action. And they did that magnificently," he added.

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The Kilkenny boss was an interested spectator at the semi-final between Wexford and Tipperary.

"We could talk about Tipperary for ever. We could talk about their skill and it is magnificent, their ability to play and their scoring potential is super.

"Go to the last match when they played against Wexford with 14 players for the last 25 minutes.

"They had 14 players on the field playing against a team who were playing really, really well and you're wondering how can Tipperary cope with this challenge? Suddenly they found levels of everything. I'm saying this not because we're playing them but this is the truth. This is what happened."

Kilkenny's only injury doubt ahead of the final is Bill Sheehan who is nursing a hamstring strain. However, Cody said he was hopeful he would be able to face the Premier County.

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