Brian Cody defends Dublin hurlers

Kilkenny manager thought the team from the capital underperformed this year

Brian Cody led his Kilkenny team to Leinster final victory over Dublin this year. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Brian Cody led his Kilkenny team to Leinster final victory over Dublin this year. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Fri, Aug 1, 2014, 01:00

Brian Cody has rejected the characterisation of Dublin’s players as “manufactured hurlers”, condemning the phrase as condescending and completely wrong. The Kilkenny manager was reacting to some of the commentary in the wake of Dublin’s exit from the championship last weekend.

“The same people were saying six months before that they were capable of winning the All-Ireland final, so it was a huge change in how people looked upon them. I would say it’s certainly condescending, call it what you like. I would consider Dublin to be a top team, an absolute top team. I’ve been saying this for a long time.

“Dublin will be very disappointed with how they played. They didn’t perform as they’d like against us and they certainly didn’t the last day. It’s not for me to comment on Dublin except to say that I would have seen Dublin as one of the teams with the potential to win the All-Ireland as they were so very close last year. What I’d be saying is that they’re much better than they looked on both days.

“They performed badly on the day – as many teams have done before – and the same level of remark wasn’t passed upon other teams who have also failed to perform in given situations. To me, they have outstanding players and have proven over the past couple of years exactly the quality they have.

“There was nobody questioning their natural ability over the past couple of years whereas it’s easy enough to hit them with that now. But it’s completely wrong as far as I’m concerned.”

Long-term absentee

Apart from long-term absentee Michael Rice, Cody has no injury worries ahead of Kilkenny’s All-Ireland semi-final against Limerick on Sunday week. Michael Fennelly and Richie Power have recovered from the injuries that kept them out of the Leinster final and Cody is reasonably confident that they will be ready to go for the Limerick game.

“They’re training, they’re pretty good. They’re back for the last couple of weeks so hopefully they’ll be available for selection. They’re doing full training.”

Fennelly has been cursed with back problems on and off for over a year and has played only three full games for Kilkenny in 2014. The former Hurler Of The Year would be a huge asset to Kilkenny if he was fit to take full part in the semi-final and although it looks like he will be ready, the nature of the injury means that Cody can’t be certain just yet.

“It’s an ongoing thing and it has been for a while. It’s good now at the moment. He obviously played against Offaly and it came against him again. He’s been out and has been out for five or six weeks. We don’t know yet exactly whether he will be playing or not playing. All we can do is monitor him in training.”

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