"They give out this veil of 'ah sure we just hurl' and people are very fooled by it" 4 months ago

"They give out this veil of 'ah sure we just hurl' and people are very fooled by it"

The 2003 All-Ireland football semi-final and the whole GAA world stopped and stared.

Mickey Harte's Tyrone were impossible to ignore. Ravenous, insatiable and incessant, they leapt across the Croke Park turf like they were mad at the grass and they hit Kerry bodies with that same manic aggression.

The levels of intensity were groundbreaking and it resulted in one of the most skilful teams of modern times being horsed out of the game. What can you possibly do when you're swarmed within milliseconds of the ball coming near you?

Those clips have a place in GAA folklore.


Other managers you can bet your bottom dollar on it, took note. Work-rate and intensity are things a team have genuine control over and every manager in the business looked on in awe and with ideas of implementing it into their own team. Brian Cody among them.

It was around 2003 when his Kilkenny team were taking off and as they dominated hurling between 2006 and 2015, it was a similar suffocation of opponents that stood out.

"Brian Cody would have watched that and gone 'oh my God.' I've done live shows with the Tyrone lads and it's interesting that Brian Cody has been a guest speaker at their training sessions on a couple of occasions," said Colm Parkinson on Thursday's GAA Hour Show.

"I remember Joe McMahon telling me that Brian Cody told them that they were an inspiration for him. This is right up Brian Cody's alley."

And while Kilkenny are renowned for their total hurling, Offaly legend Brian Carroll reckons their physical fitness isn't given the recognition it deserves.

A lot of this Carroll says, comes down to Cody's right hand man since 2003, Mick Dempsey.

"Brian Cody trusts Mick Dempsey so much and in fairness to Mick Dempsey, he's always been ahead of the curve when it comes to physical fitness," says Carroll.

"If there's one thing that Kilkenny probably don't get enough credit for, particularly ten years ago when they had that phenomenal team, the physical preparation of that Kilkenny team. They are phenomenal, they are without doubt one of the fittest teams in the country every single year.

"That's what allows them this work-rate and this huge intensity. I know some of the Kilkenny players well, I taught with a couple of them and hearing, it wouldn't have been rubbish talk, you just know the numbers they're hitting in the fitness tests and the body shape and the percentage body fats, they're so ahead of that curve and they're always that one step ahead in fairness to Mick Dempsey. They'r so innovative from that perspective. They give out this veil of 'ah sure we just hurl' and people are very fooled by it. It's far from that..."

Brendan Bugler adds that Walter Walsh's rapid return to fitness after an injury shows off the Cats' refined fitness regimes.

"I'd have questioned Wally Walsh's fitness there before the Cork game. I was wondering could he play that role (working half forward.) Then straight away from the very first ball he was down in his own half back line getting a flick in, and John Donnelly on the other side, the amount of hard-work he got through..."

You can watch this chat and much more from The GAA Hour Hurling Show here.