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Michael Fennelly: 'He's winning and he loves it so why wouldn't Brian Cody stay on?'

The Kilkenny midfielder says his boss is proof managers should be given time to succeed.

Fennelly and Cody celebrate their 2009 All-Ireland win.
Fennelly and Cody celebrate their 2009 All-Ireland win.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IF ANYONE THINKS that Brian Cody has lost his passion for hurling after picking up his 10th All-Ireland title, Michael Fennelly is keen to put them in their place.

It’s his drive, his love of the game and his enjoyment of winning that has kept Cody in the Kilkenny job this long and Fennelly sees no reason why that should change after picking up another title this year.

“If you’re winning and you love it and you have the time – obviously he’s very passionate about it – so why not stay on?

“Normally you have two or three years of winning titles and there is a massive turnover in management in these times.

“So it’s great to see someone like Brian staying on for that length because it’s not nice to see managers given one or two years and if they’re not winning, they’re gone.

“It’s like the Premier League nearly – obviously it’s a lot more serious over there – you’ve a couple of months to succeed, but it’s getting that way here too.

“If you’re not winning in two or three years you’re out the gap so it’s great to see someone like Brian stay there for so long.”

He does admit, however, there is some concern in Kilkenny as to what could happen when Cody eventually calls it a day but it will be up to the players to make sure it’s as smooth a transition as possible.

“The whole structure, the whole thing can really get rattled. It just depends on the players and who’s there but definitely it can just go down completely.

The midfielder also understands why managers encourage a siege mentality to keep the players away from the media.

“It’s a funny one but everyone has an opinion, everyone thinks this lad should be playing or that lad, and I know there are a load of us pushing on to 31 and 32 and maybe people are thinking we need new blood in there.

“But look, I think the answer was in the All-Ireland final this year. We had a good team there, and a good age.

“Them lads like Jackie and Brian Hogan – who played a big role the first day and for most of the year – JJ Delaney, they’re all still here and massively key to the whole system.

Despite winning a seventh All-Ireland title himself, Fennelly won’t have much time to celebrate with pre-season beginning in the next month or so. It’s not something he’s particularly looking forward to.

“You’re so used to it at this stage now. In November normally or maybe December you get a text message with maybe a programme or whatever it may be.

“Hopefully this year we won’t get one until January.

“You’d be half dreading it, thinking about the year ahead, but we’re just going to go back to our clubs now and that’s where the focus is right now.

“That’s the most important thing.”

‘Hurling is one thing but there’s more serious things than that’ – Michael Fennelly

Henry Shefflin’s hurling future – he’s ‘looking forward to making that decision’

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Steve O'Rourke

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