Paul says he wasn’t the most skillful player over the years but worked hard and thinks Brian respected that.
Getting on the panel
“I was called in to train as a 19-year-old to fill a gap in the team, you know if lads got injured you would fill a place, and I walked into a dressing room and remember it was over in Kierans’ College of a Wednesday evening, I think was summer’s evening, a great evening for training”.
“I walked in and looked around, there was Brian Hogan, Eddie Brennan, Michael Kavanagh, all these lads, you know I’m there trying to go, where do I sit in this dressing room?, and I was nervous”
“Where do I sit because someone is going to give out to me now or something? You know I’m going to embarrass myself. Brian (Hogan) was the first to come over and he recognised that obviously I’m probably quite nervous coming in and said, well, Paul, how are you? You’re welcome in and all this”.
“In fairness, other boys came over to me like Jackie (Tyrrell) came over, kinda straight away, Eddie Brennan was another fella who came over, and you know, it was really appreciated”.
“We went out in the pitch training and sure I looked around and here was Brian Hogan at the other side, stretching and whatever, and I think Brian Cody could see then that I was going… Who do I ask to puck around and all that?
“So Brian Cody let a roar at Brian Hogan to puck around with me, and that got me out of the sticky situation, so he did that at the start to suppose get me going,” said Paul.
Getting game time
“When it came to matches then, he dropped me, I was dropped in 2010 and it came to a stage I think in 2011 where I had been on enough panels and he came to me and was wondering, what’s your plan like? You know what you want to do and I said, give me a start, give me a chance or you know, what am I doing here? I think I’m the right man for the job and I think that Brian related with that”.
“I told him that you have to be kind of playing me and I think I’m doing what you’re asking me and as a result, you should be playing me”.
“I think he kind of recognised that’s it, okay, there’s a bit of fire in this lad and I will put him on and from there we always had a great relationship”.
“I think I had things that Brian liked, I just went in and trained. I wasn’t the most skillful player, I worked hard for everything. I would put myself in the first group out doing runs, you know you put yourself beside Michael Fennelly and Cillian Buckley, the best lads for running. If you’re going to do an attack drill you jump in beside Tommy Walsh and you do would do that” he said.
Relationship with Brian Cody
I used to do things like that which I think Brian (Cody) went okay… he’s not going to win an all Ireland final, but he’ll work hard now in these areas, and I think that’s what he liked about me”.
“There were days where he said, listen, you have to improve this and other days he said well done, that was brilliant but that was really our relationship. It never extended past that, it was just whatever is best for what is happening on the pitch”.
“Brian, if he thought he had to give me a clip and that would make me better, he did it, if he thought he gave me encouragement he did it and that was it and it never extended past that into a real I suppose, we were never friends, not that we weren’t friendly to each other”
“He’s a manager. I’m a player, that’s the relationship really”.
Paul decided to step away from the game when he felt he was not in Brian Cody’s plans anymore.
He said he believed he could have still been useful in games despite a rocky start to his club season with Danesfort last year.
“You saw the way the year went, you know I didn’t perform too well with the club so I kind of knew when I was going back in with Kilkenny,” said Paul.
“I saw the likes of Conor Delaney hurling really well, Tommy Walsh was hurling really well with Tullaroan, they were flying it so I said I don’t have a long turn around time here, these lads would probably be pushing for jerseys which they were, then once my form came back with Kilkenny and I saw that I wasn’t coming on in games, I was going maybe I’m just not in the plans at the moment”.
Listen back to the podcast below.
In this week’s episode, we dive into
– Announcing his retirement this year
– His Inter-county Career
– Playing in All Ireland finals
– Playing with Danesfort
– Soccer trials in his teenage years
– Army life
– Rule changes in GAA
Listen to the full interview here, or anywhere you do your podcast listening :