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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 16 December, 2019
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Cody: Cats will be fighting fit despite injury crisis

Worst injury crisis since taking over in 1998 fails to dim Kilkenny manager’s resolve.

Anthony Daly and Brian Cody meet the press ahead of their league decider this weekend.
Anthony Daly and Brian Cody meet the press ahead of their league decider this weekend.
Image: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

BRIAN CODY SAYS Kilkenny are determined to win their Allianz NHL Division 1 decider with Dublin despite enduring the worst injury crisis of his managerial career.

The Cats boss, speaking at a Croke Park press event earlier, told TheScore that he’s planning without the likes of Henry Shefflin, John Tennyson, Aidan Fogarty, Richie Power and Michael Fennelly.

Typically however, he says the 15 he sends out on Sunday afternoon have enough to get the job done.

“Obviously, you like to have your strongest panel available for all matches but that’s not the case.

“We have hit a poor run of injuries which is pretty unusual, but that’s the situation we find ourselves in and we just have to get on with it. Obviously it presents opportunities for players who are trying to stake a claim for place in our panel as we go through the year.

“Having said all that, I don’t really dwell on the injury situation. If a player’s fit he’s fit and he’s in the hunt to play. If he’s not, it’s a killer for the player and you feel sorry for him, but you start with 15 players and they start with 15 players.

“They’ll be missing a few through injury as well on Sunday. That’s just the way it works,” he added.

Cody was joined in Drumcondra earlier by fellow managers Ger Loughlin and Donal O’Grady of Clare and Limerick respectively and Division One counterpart Anthony Daly.

The Kilkenny man says he expects a tough test in the showpiece on Sunday from an impressive Dublin side.

“I’ve been saying for the last three or four years that I think there’s serious potential in Dublin. You can see it first of all in their underage teams, their college teams, U21 teams, even Féile teams going back.

“I think they’re one of the top teams in the country right now and I’m not just saying that because we’re playing them on Sunday, I’m saying that because I believe it. Physically, they’re a very strong team. They’ve got great pace right throughout the field, huge skill, great determination.

“There’s a great drive in the whole county, maybe not numerically in terms of supporters coming out but in all the hurling areas in Dublin there’s a great drive. Obviously, Anthony is working very well. There’s a lot of things coming together for them.”

League of their own

The Cats topped the league standings but Cody refuses to read too much into their campaign. He insists however, it’s a title the Noresiders are determined to annex.

“I suppose it’s hard to judge our form in the league. We’re in the final which is obviously a huge positive for us. We haven’t been really consistent or really convincing throughout the league.

“There have been parts of games where we’ve been good and parts of games where we haven’t been very good. We’ve let leads go and we’ve gone out of games, but we’ve also kept it going at times and we’re in a situation where we’re in the league final now. We couldn’t ask for much more really.

“We would always respect the Allianz National Football League for what it is first of all. It’s the second premier competition that’s there to be fought for in Ireland. We’ve always stated very definitely that we’d love to win it,” he added.

- additional reporting Niall Kelly

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