"I don’t pay any attention because the lads that say it could have a different opinion the next day"
Brian Cody never doubted his Kilkenny team. No matter what the pundits say.
Kilkenny exited the 2017 championship in the second round of qualifiers after losing to an up-and-coming Wexford, and ultimately Waterford. Professional pundits and couch analysists alike called for Cody’s head saying that Kilkenny wouldn’t win another trophy in his tenure.
This widespread sentencing of Cody’s managerial death was furthered after the opening they had to this year's National League. After defeat in their opening games to Cork and Clare respectively most people said that Kilkenny and Cody were done. Most people were wrong.
Speaking on The GAA Hour, the most successful manager in hurling’s history said that he pays no attention to the opinion of GAA pundits with ever changing opinions.
“I ignore it completely,” he said.
“I don’t pay any attention because the lads that say it could have a different opinion the next day.”
The James Stephen’s club man backed up his opinion with some undeniable truth.
“The lads are pundits or even geniuses they are now,” he said sarcastically.
“There was no expectation really of us doing anything. If we hadn’t a good league run we would have certainly been written off regards any prospects we might have. Now all of a sudden people are saying they might have a chance.”
The Kilkenny legend said that what pundits say is usually fickle. He recognised it is their job to “say something”, but was happy for his team to ignore their claims. His advice was to refute them with their actions on the field.
"They were saying, 'He's gone he's gone'" - Brian Cody
His side recently lost the likes of Richie Power, Eoin Larkin and Michael Fennelly to retirement but Cody said that the conveyor belt of players in the Kilkenny set up went out to prove that they were deserving of a black and amber jersey, something he feels they have done.
“The perception was we went out early in the championship last year. We weren’t competitive last year and the people were looking at the personnel involved,” he said.
"People were looking at our players and I suppose people were concentrating on people who were no longer playing and people who were retired rather than players available to us now.”
"They were saying, ‘he’s gone, he’s gone, he’s gone and he’s gone so Kilkenny are gone’”. We had to go out and just get on with it."
"If we ever get to the stage where we buy into that kind of thinking of ‘ah no we’re not going to be up to much this year’, we shouldn’t be doing the thing.."
Cody, who has won 20 national titles, has been at the helms of teams consisting of some of the greatest players ever to pick up a hurley. Still, he insisted that he had the same confidence in the current Kilkenny panel, even after their start to the League.
An All-Ireland winner at all levels as a player, Cody knows exactly what it takes to make hurling's biggest stage. He thinks his current crop have it.
“I said from day one even before the league started, after the first game and after the second game when we were beaten. Still I had a real confidence in the players.”
“I still have a real confidence in their genuineness, in their spirit, their application and in their potential. They’ve proven that they have all of those things.”
"I have always been positive and had a real positive sense about the potential of Kilkenny hurlers and I will continue to have that."
Listen to the full interview and much more from The GAA Hour right here.