When it was all said and done, the landscape of Kilkenny hurling will never be the same after Brian Cody’s tenure of manager came to an end.
After 24 years in charge, endless accolades, and the respect of the nation, Brian Cody stepped down from his role last Saturday with Kilkenny GAA releasing a statement to the public.
See also: Brian Cody departs Kilkenny’s senior hurling setup after 24 seasons
Some have asked questions about the timing of the retirement. After Brian running this team so close to an All Ireland title, the county wondered, has he stepped down too soon? The squad is young and hungry and a Liam McCarthy on a silver jubilee seems like stuff legends are made of. Speaking with Scoreline, Kilkenny hurling legend Michael Walsh believes Cody may has decided his fate at the start of the campaign;
“Time will only tell. I tend to feel that he has them in a place where he feels they are ready. He may have had his mind made up at the start of the year, whatever happens, we move on. It sounds like that to me. What happened that Sunday ( All Ireland final) he may have been tempted but maybe he just stuck to his guns. Nobody knows only the man himself. It was his prerogative for what he has done and achieved to name his time to go and he has done that now and he has to be respected for that.”
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See also: The next question is, who replaces Brian Cody as Kilkenny senior hurling manager?
You can pay tribute to a great man, but inevitably questions and murmurings come up as to who will be stepping in his boots. Kilkenny will no doubt not venture outside the medieval city for his successor. So who does that leave? Some names have been banded about but Walsh believes it only comes down to two candidates,
“The obvious people are Derek Lyng and Henry Shefflin.”
“Henry is with Galway and is committed for three years. Very hard to see after one year, after he created a real bond there. You just don’t know.”
“Derek (Lyng) would be a slight favourite after winning the under 20’s. Especially with his backroom team involving Peter Barry, Micheal Rice, and Peter Donovon. He might have the upper hand in regards to a slight favourite.”
You listen back to the full interview on Scoreline extra below along with words from Eddie Brennan, Eoin Larkin and more :
See also: What fans and players have been saying about the retirement of Brian Cody