Sunday 18 February 2018

There's no chance Cody will leave the Cats - Brennan

Kilkenny legend Eddie Brennan. Photo: Sportsfile
Kilkenny legend Eddie Brennan. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Kilkenny legend Eddie Brennan insists there is "no chance" Brian Cody will step down as manager of the Cats this year.

Brennan is preparing the county's U-21s for their Bord Gais Energy All-Ireland final with Limerick in Semple Stadium on Saturday and doesn't foresee a change at the top in the county.

"No," he replied when asked if there was any chance Cody would step down. "Guaranteed he'll be there.

"I just don't see it happening. I haven't spoken to him, and I don't know any of the ins and outs, I'm only focusing on what we're doing with the U-21s, but I just don't see it happening.

"I think it would be a mistake as well if it did happen because he's the right man to lead them forward. Maybe it'll be a different approach they take but certainly Brian is the man to lead them forward."

By their own lofty standards, Kilkenny have endured two disappointing seasons. They lost the 2016 All-Ireland final to their great rivals Tipperary by nine points before losing to Wexford in Leinster and would-be All-Ireland finalists Waterford in the qualifiers after extra-time this summer.

And Brennan believes any improvement will have to be player-driven.

"It's going to be tricky (to be more competitive) but certainly it's a challenge that Brian will enjoy. They have the hurlers, it's just the mindset really is what it is. It comes down to the individuals as well.

"Brian Cody will prepare them as best he can and work with the philosophies and things that have served him well and what's needed. But it ultimately comes down to the players themselves too. I think there's a lot of guys in that Kilkenny senior set-up and they'll have to have a good look at themselves over the winter.

"They'll have to say, 'Am I getting the most out of myself? Am I really putting it in?' And that's where it lies. I think if they come back in and buy into the system they certainly have the hurling.

"It's all about attitude. For me, attitude and application are the two key words if you're going to be an inter-county player.

"I think a lot of those guys, like, we had a small percentage of our players really performing. TJ Reid carried that forward unit (in 2017). Some of the other guys in that forward unit have to say, 'we have to step up' and that's it.

"I think you could say Colin Fennelly, Walter Walsh, Ger Aylward, that's the challenge that's in front of them. You either get stuck in or you don't. Because you can never be in a county set-up and go through the motions, it's all or nothing.

"If not, you shouldn't do that to yourself because hurling isn't the be-all and everything in life but if you're going in there you should do it right."

Brennan also reckons the new All-Ireland champions Galway could be now in a position to deliver on the potential they have always hinted at after finally making the breakthrough at senior level.

"When you look at it in minor terms even, every couple of years they've always been able to pick off a minor title. Skill level, hurling ability, that was never in question, it's just about getting that mental toughness and resilience.

"I think they have a few characters like that within the squad and as much as it's about the manager, it's about the players on the field having that resilience.

"I think they have that in David Burke, Joe Canning, Daithi Burke, a lot of those guys and for me this year was all about the spread that Galway had."

Irish Independent

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