"I think there are only five Kilkenny players who are guaranteed to start on any given day" - Cody's motivational methods
Kilkenny didn't get off to the best start in Parnell Park and, with Brian Cody growing increasingly tetchy on the line, it was Walter Walsh who bore the brunt of it.
He was over on the far wing, on the other end of the field so to make sure Walter knew the story, Cody had to roar like a farmer trying to train a young sheep dog. That was no problem to the Kilkenny manager who, even in a tight stadium on a buzzy evening and from a long distance, had no trouble getting his message across.
The game was in Donnycarney but, when Walter was beaten for a Dublin puck-out and then rounded by Daire Gray, the snarls could have been heard in Drumcondra. He's in good form, he's ten years a Kilkenny hurler but Walter didn't make it out for the second half.
Alan Murphy took on a blind shot when the game was still tight in that second half and, if you looked at Cody as the ball drifted harmlessly wide, you would have seen him dancing on the spot and roaring like a mad-man. The Glenmore man put up his hand as if to say that won't happen again boss.
Ex-Kilkenny hurler James Ryall was also at the game and he talked about his former manager's old-school motivation methods on this week's GAA Hour.
"I was behind Cody in the stand and it was comical enough in the first half.
"He was his usual fiery self and it was great entertainment in some ways. He was growling and growling at everyone, beside him, behind him, in front of him. You heard this 'WALTER!' across the field. Dublin won their first five puck-outs, straight to hand, and he was roaring at Walter for that but it wasn't just Walter (who was at fault,)" said Ryall.
“I didn't know if the answer was supposed to be in inches, litres, kilos.”
James Ryall was asked, as a Kilkenny hurler, what he was benching but he didn't have a clue what that meant and saved himself with the true sales-man answer😂
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On the subject of Walter Walsh being taken off at half-time, Ryall reckons that, of the fifteen players who started against Dublin, only five of them are assured of their place on the team. That, he feels, ensures a healthy level of competitiveness in the squad.
"I think Cody has Kilkenny in such a way that I would really think there are only five Kilkenny players who are guaranteed to start on any given day. That's a strength in some ways. Take Dublin or some other counties and there could be 12 like that.
"Bar Eoin Cody, he's probably the only one out of the six forwards, that can say 'I'm probably going to get the jersey.' You'd probably say the same about Mikey Butler. Maybe Eoin Murphy too, but he had a bit of a one-two meltdown in Galway where Cody probably growled at him again - he did, I was there!
"So when lads are like that, and he's growling at you after 20 minutes, you know that you could be coming off at half-time."
Having been taken off by half-time in Kilkenny's championship opener against Westmeath, Cian Kenny and Mossy Keoghan know the feeling. After sitting out the last two games, they were back this time around and they took their chance. Kenny scored four superb points while the Tullaroan man scored the two game-changing goals.
"People say he got the changes right," added Ryall.
"Mossy Keoghan was superb and young Cian Kenny was brilliant. But the two of them were available to him the last day too - he just didn't play them. So did he get it wrong that day? That comes up the whole time. Cody pulled a rabbit out of the bag and your man scored 1-5 or whatever. But like, where was the rabbit two weeks ago, that was an important game as well."