John Mullane: I've watched Brian Cody for 20 years - and the last two weeks have been the most enjoyable
John Mullane has praised the job Brian Cody has done this season with Kilkenny despite the Cats exiting the championship following an All-Ireland quarter-final loss to Limerick.
2018 saw Cody introduce a number of new faces into his starting team, with Kilkenny surprising people by claiming the league title in the spring. They subsequently qualified for a Leinster final, where they defeated by Galway after a replay, before narrowly being edged out by Limerick in Thurles.
Despite Cody now going three seasons without an All-Ireland title for the first time since taking over Kilkenny ahead of the 1999 campaign, John Mullane thinks that the last few weeks havve encapsulated why the veteran manager is so good in the role.
"In all my 20 years of watching Cody, I think the last few weeks have been my most enjoyable," Mullane said on The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast.
"Look at the Kilkenny team-sheet. I came out of Thurles last year after Waterford beat them and I thought there was no way that Kilkenny would compete for the next three or four years. What he got out of Kilkenny the last two weeks has been incredible.
"Another minute against Galway, they could have beaten them in the Leinster final. In the replay they should have packed up and went home at half time but it's not in their DNA to do that. No other man would have got out of those Kilkenny players what Brian Cody has gotten out of them the last two weeks."
Mullane also paid tribute to Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy, who made a number of spectacular saves to keep his side alive in Semple Stadium.
"I've been watching hurling for 30 years and I have never seen a goal-keeping performance like that," Mullane added.
"He was just sensational. He was unbelievable."
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.
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.