Well, the white smoke is well and truly billowing from UPMC Nowlan Park.
Its been nearly two weeks since the shock announcement that after 24 years Brian Cody would be stepping down as the Kilkenny senior hurling manager.
After all the tributes and praise were rightly put towards Brian’s tenure, tongues inevitably wagged about who would take over the managerial reigns.
Various names have been thrown around, all rumors. Hushed whispers among GAA circles became louder and louder as each day passed without an announcement. Theories that X could not take the job because of Y reason. The word on the street is no more, as an official replacement has been announced.
The former All Ireland winning midfielder has been handed a 3-year term to replace Brian Cody on Noreside.
Emeralds clubman Lyng won six All Ireland titles as a player and was a selector under Cody in the winning senior campaigns of 2014 and 2015.
He recently guided the black and amber Under 20’s to the All Ireland title.
Statement from Kilkenny County Board:
Following Thursday night’s meeting of Kilkenny County Board, Derek Lyng has been ratified as the Kilkenny Senior Hurling Manager. A three-year term has been agreed. Selectors and backroom team will be confirmed later.
Niall Bergin has been ratified as U-17 manager for the season ahead, while the process of appointing a U-20 manager will now begin.
Kilkenny County Board wishes Derek and Niall the very best of luck during the season ahead.
The County Board will not be issuing any further statement.
He had greater moments on the field but my defining memory of Derek Lyng is travelling up to a Cork-Kilkenny All-Ireland final — one of ‘03/‘04/‘06 — and seeing a huge banner of him unfurled in Urlingford which read ‘Our Lynger can beat 15 langers.’
In his early days playing under Brian Cody Derek Lyng left a job days into it and handed back a fancy company car because he wanted to be the best hurler he could be. He'll leave no stone unturned to get Kilkenny's hands back on the Liam McCarthy Cup. https://t.co/q3WbBx68TX
Derek Lyng is the same age (44) taking the job as Brian Cody himself was, but he didn't break into the senior squad until Cody's third season at the helm. Gives a further sense of his longevity in the role and how tough an act he will be to follow. https://t.co/jIz6gvgHGG
If you had wondered in the fall of 1998 who might ultimately succeed Brian Cody when he would finish his stint, I'm pretty sure that 20 year old Derek Lyng wouldn't have been one of your more likely choices!!!!