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'I'm not sure it's needed to be honest' - Cody criticises Super 11s hurling events in America

Kilkenny were one of the teams invited to play a hybrid version of hurling in New York this year.

Brian Cody doesn't think there is much validity in hosting events like the Super 11s hurling classic.
Brian Cody doesn't think there is much validity in hosting events like the Super 11s hurling classic.
Image: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

KILKENNY BOSS Brian Cody has questioned the need to hold events likes the Super 11s hurling classic in America.

Following on from the back-to-back editions in Boston’s Fenway Park, the 2019 All-Ireland SHC semi-finalists were all invited to New York to play the modified version of hurling in the Super 11s classic last month.

Kilkenny won the event after edging out Limerick at Citi Field, while Wexford and reigning All-Ireland champions Tipperary also featured in the four-team tournament.

GPA Chief Executive Paul Flynn recently defended their decision to stage such events abroad, but Cody has questioned the validity of them.

“I’m not sure that it’s needed to be honest about it,” the Kilkenny manager told The42 when asked if the Super 11s classic has a purpose for developing hurling in Ireland.

“I’ve seen where some people have come out and said if there was some kind of incentive for the winners of the Joe McDonagh or the Christy Ring [Cups] and I would not be against that at all.

It’s different. It’s not hurling, it’s a very modified version of it. There’s a lot of talk that there’s huge need for the development at home and I would agree with that.

“There’s a huge amount of scope there for developing the game in various counties around the country.”

kilkenny-celebrate-with-the-trophy The victorious Kilkenny team after the Super 11s hurling classic. Source: Emily Harney/INPHO

The Kilkenny hurling backroom team has undergone some changes in advance of the 2020 season.

Derek Lyng stepped away from his role as selector to take over as manager of the Kilkenny U20 team. Michael Dempsey also decided to leave his position as coach after being involved with the set-up since 2005.

Michael Comerford has since been added to the Kilkenny backroom team to work as a physical trainer while Cats legends DJ Carey and Martin Comerford will both serve as selectors for Cody.

dj-carey DJ Carey will be a selector with the Kilkenny seniors in 2020. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Speaking to the media earlier this week, Carey revealed that Cody made contact with him about joining the backroom team just a few days after stepping down as Kilkenny U20 manager.

“I knew he had stepped down from the U20s,” says Cody, “and I had spoken to DJ a couple of times over the years and had been in contact with him while he was with the U20s as well.

He has a huge amount to offer, one of the greatest hurlers to ever to tog out. He has such a knowledge of the game and he’ll bring what he brings to it.

“He has a huge passion for Kilkenny hurling and for his own club. That’s the kind of fella he is.

“We brought in Mickey Comerford as the physical trainer. He was with the U20s for the past couple of years. Prior to that he was a physical trainer with O’Loughlin Gaels.

“Martin [Comerford] as well, was an outstanding player for a long time, and heavily involved in his own club.

“The lads have plenty to offer.”

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The GAA’s Fixtures Calendar Review Taskforce unveiled 32 recommendations on Wednesday, which are aimed at revamping the GAA calendar.

While the current senior hurling championship format received support in the document, a proposal has been put forward to consider expanding the number of teams in the Leinster and Munster groups to six.

As Cody heads towards his 22nd consecutive season in charge of Kilkenny, he says his side will play in whatever competition that is presented to them.

“Whatever competition is put in front of us, we have to prepare for it and that’s it. I’m not for dictating who should be doing what or whatever it is. I’ll look at the proposals when I see them. The solution is not easy, it’s not simple, there’s no doubt about that.

“It was a good idea for people to get around the table and discuss it.”

Brian Cody was speaking at the official announcement of UPMC’s ten-year naming right partnership with Kilkenny GAA that sees the home of Kilkenny GAA renamed UPMC Nowlan Park.

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