Wednesday 21 March 2018

75: The number of rival managers that have come and gone in Cody’s14 years

Kilkenny 1 The Rest 75

Brian Cody
Brian Cody
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

In this case, less is definitely more for Kilkenny as they look ahead to a 14th successive season under Brian Cody's management.

His reappointment -- surely the ultimate in formalities -- went without fanfare earlier this week as Kilkenny happily continued with the mid-November tradition of quietly announcing his continued stewardship.

It's only when viewed against the many changes which have occurred elsewhere that Cody's permanent residency stands out as a monument to the sort of stability that other counties crave.

Come next season and his interaction with new arrivals around the country, he will have encountered no fewer than 75 different management teams since first taking charge of Kilkenny for the 1999 season.

He will have met some managers in different counties and, in the case of Jimmy Barry-Murphy, it will be a case of renewing rivalry for the second time as the Cork legend returns to the Rebels, having ended his first stint in late 2000.

Excluding Waterford, for whom Michael Ryan will be the fourth Deise boss to joust with Cody, the average management-per-county since 1999 is just over seven, underlying just how volatile life on the sideline can be.

Here's how Kilkenny's main rivals have lined up their managements during the Cody era and how they fared in the battle with the most imposing army in the history of hurling (managers who will begin in 2012 are included).


Jimmy Barry-Murphy (twice), Tom Cashman, Bertie Og Murphy, Donal O'Grady, John Allen, Gerald McCarthy, Denis Walsh.

Barry-Murphy was in his fourth season when Cody arrived for the 1999 campaign. It was 'advantage JBM' as Cork beat Kilkenny by a point in the All-Ireland final.

Thirteen years on, JBM will return for the start of his second stint in 2012 hoping, no doubt, to plot the demise of the Kilkenny empire. Donal O'Grady (2004) also presided over an All-Ireland final success against Kilkenny.

Cody v Cork: Played 6, Won 4, Lost 2.


Nicky English, Michael Doyle, Ken Hogan, 'Babs' Keating, Liam Sheedy, Declan Ryan.

Sheedy is the only Tipperary manager to enjoy a championship win over Kilkenny (2010) in the Cody era.

Cody v Tipperary: Played 5, Won 4, Lost 1.


Eamonn Cregan, Dave Keane, Pad Joe Whelahan, Joe McKenna, Richie Bennis, Justin McCarthy, Donal O'Grady, John Allen.

Allen will be Limerick's eighth manager in the Cody era, during which Kilkenny twice beat the Shannonsiders (2005 All-Ireland quarter-final and 2007 final)

Cody v Limerick: Played 2, Won 2.


Ger Loughnane, Cyril Lyons, Anthony Daly, Tony Considine, Mike McNamara, 'Sparrow' O'Loughlin, Davy Fitzgerald.

Clare made four attempts to beat Kilkenny, but the closest they came was in 2004 when they drew a quarter-final before losing the replay.

Cody v Clare: Played 4, Won 3, Drew 1.


Gerald McCarthy, Justin McCarthy, Davy Fitzgerald, Michael Ryan.

Kilkenny broke Waterford's hearts four times under Cody. The closest the Deise came to spoiling the Cats' party was in the 2004 All-Ireland semi-final which they lost by three points.

Cody v Waterford: Played 4, Won 4.


Mattie Murphy, Noel Lane, Conor Hayes, Ger Loughnane, John McIntyre, Anthony Cunningham.

Together with Cork, Galway are the only county to have beaten Kilkenny twice (2001 and '05) in the Cody era.

However, Galway had a whole lot of bad days too.

Cody v Galway: Played 7, Won 5, Lost 2.


Joachim Kelly, Tony Dempsey, John Conran, Seamus Murphy, John Meyler, Colm Bonnar, Liam Dunne.

Kilkenny played Wexford more often than any other county and had only one setback (2004 Leinster semi-final)

Cody v Wexford: Played 10, Won 9, Lost 1.


Michael O'Grady, Kevin Fennelly, Marty Morris, Humphrey Kelleher, Tommy Naughton, Anthony Daly.

Dublin beat Kilkenny in this year's National League final, but they haven't yet managed to break the championship hoodoo.

Cody v Dublin: Played 6, Won 6.


Michael Bond (twice), Pat Fleury, Fr Tom Fogarty, Mike McNamara, John McIntyre, Joe Dooley, Ollie Baker.

Offaly enjoyed many great days against Kilkenny in the 1980s-90s, but it all ended with Cody's arrival, having drawn a blank since.

Cody v Offaly: Played 7, Won 7.


Sean Cuddy, Pat Delaney, Paudie Butler, Dinny Cahill, Damien Fox, Niall Rigney, Brendan Fennelly, Teddy McCarthy.

Cody's first championship outing as a manager was against Laois in 1999 and, unusually, the counties haven't met since then.

Cody v Laois: Played 1, Won 1.


Seamus Elliot, Sean McNaughton, Dinny Cahill (twice), Sambo McNaughton & Dominic McKinley, Jerry Wallis.

Kilkenny haven't met Antrim in the championship since 1993.

Irish Independent

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