Kieran Joyce and his club Rower Inistioge won the AIB All-Ireland Intermediate title and will hurl senior this year. Donall Farmer/INPHO

'Cody will definitely stay on - he loves the game too much to step away now'

Kieran Joyce says there’s no fear of Brian Cody calling it a day.

KIERAN JOYCE EXPECTS Kilkenny boss Brian Cody to return for a shot at an 11th All-Ireland hurling title next season.

Joyce, who was man of the match in last month’s replay win against Tipperary, said: “I’d say Brian will most definitely stay on. He definitely will.”

Cody has overseen plenty of transitions since he first took the job in 1998 but with lots of bright young talent coming through at senior level, Joyce believes he has every reason to stay.

He loves the game too much to step away now and there’s some fantastic players coming through as well. You see the likes of Pádraig [Walsh] and that coming through, Cillian [Buckley] — these chaps are very young, they’re going to be there or thereabouts.

“I tell you, there’s plenty more lads on the minor team and that to come through as well. It’s a good time for Kilkenny to be there and I’m sure Brian will stay on to mentor a lot of them.”

Cody escaped punishment last week after branding referee Barry Kelly’s decision to award Tipperary a contentious free in the drawn final “criminal.”

Kelly’s decision gave John Bubbles O’Dwyer a chance to snatch a win but his long-range effort was ruled inches wide by Hawk-Eye.

Despite Cody’s slap on the wrists from the CCCC, who warned him as to his future conduct, Joyce says the Cats support their boss all the way.

“All of Kilkenny has firmly backed Brian Cody, no matter what. Down through the years, no matter what has been said.

If he ran for mayor he’d get it straight away. Everyone’s 100% backed by Brian.

“Whatever happened, I haven’t read into it at all but there’s obviously annoyance there but that’s for him to comment on, not me.”

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