By Diarmuid O’Flynn
CHARLIE CARTER returned to the Kilkenny panel for yesterday’s league victory over Cork, with manager Brian Cody insisting that a so-called rift had been blown out of proportion.
It was claimed that Carter, the team captain, had pulled out of the panel after being omitted against Tipperary last Sunday. Reliable sources reported that Carter had left following a heated discussion with the selectors.
"I heard ye were looking for me during the week," joked Carter to waiting reporters yesterday, but Cody poured cold water on the alleged rift.
"You saw him here today, togged out. If there is a problem, it's not here. I know it's your job to find stories, and I'm not saying this was fabricated: there was one growing during the week, but Charlie is here, he's still on the panel, and that's it. He didn't tell me he was retiring anyway."
It has been proven time and again that there is no room for sentiment in the championship, and Brian Cody has become as ruthless a manager as any. But there is no doubt that there was disquiet in the camp, that many players, and not just Charlie Carter, were becoming disillusioned with what they saw as pretty high-handed treatment.
Yesterday, former Kilkenny star Denis Byrne, having transferred his allegiance because of his grievances with the same management team, came on as a sub for Tipperary against Galway but that was not a trend anyone in Kilkenny wants to see continued.