Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Kilkenny remaining 'massively vigilant' in lead-up to All-Ireland to avoid Covid 'disaster'

The Cats held yesterday’s press night in an outdoor setting as an extra precaution.

BRIAN CODY SAYS Kilkenny are wary of Covid impacting the camp ahead of the All-Ireland hurling final with Limerick. 

Kilkenny’s pre-All-Ireland final press night, which featured Cody, Paddy Deegan and Eoin Murphy, at Langton’s Hotel took place in an outdoor setting as part of extra precautions being taken.

The Cats are keen avoid the “cruel” scenario where a player is ruled out of the game on Sunday week according to the manager.

“Oh God, it’s hugely important,” he said. “And it’s there again in abundance, if you like, and it’s a concern, and it’s a worry. Players have been massively vigilant up until this and absolutely will continue to be.

“This media event is happening outdoors just to ensure safety again for everybody. It would absolutely be a disaster for anybody from either Kilkenny or Limerick to have an issue with Covid coming up to the final, because that would be just too cruel for anybody.”

Cody is confident the Cats have had the correct measures in place all season.

“We’ve been vigilant the whole time, to be fair. We have been very conscious of the whole thing, our doctor Dr Tadhg Crowley is a top man and he knows exactly the potential things to go wrong and the players are intelligent young lads.

“They have been very aware, they steer away from any stuff that is in any way going to inhibit their chances of being there for All-Ireland final day.”

Kilkenny have a clean bill of health for the final aside from Conor Fogarty, who is working his way back from injury.

“Conor Fogarty was injured for the last day, he’s still not fully recovered so we just don’t know for certain how he’ll be. We’re hoping (he’ll be fit). He did a little bit of hurling at the weekend, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

Cork native Colm Lyons was announced as referee for the final. He took charge of Kilkenny’s narrow defeat to Galway in Salthill earlier this summer. Cody was vexed at his decision to award Galway a last-minute free that saw Conor Cooney strike the winner.

However, the Kilkenny manager said “players, managers, referees…they all make mistakes.

“Honest mistakes are fine and you can’t do anything about that. It’s Kilkenny and Limerick’s All-Ireland final, it’s the players’ All-Ireland final but it’s also his All-Ireland final.

“He’s going out to perform to the maximum level of his ability and he’s going to go out with a proper agenda to represent himself obviously and the game the way it should be and that’s it.

“We all get excited on the sideline and during a game and you see something (and say) ‘Jeez, that shouldn’t have been blown” or ‘that should have been blown’.

“That happens but at the end for the day you have to have massive respect for all the referees who are there because it’s not an easy position to be in.

“It won’t be easy for the players taking on each other but he is taking on everything, he has huge responsibility and a huge realisation that a decision from him could actually decide the game. So he’s going to be absolutely flat out to do his level best and that’s all anyone can ask for.”

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