Brian Cody includes surprise debutant in All-Ireland final team

Kevin Kelly is a surprise selection in the Kilkenny team for Sunday’s All-Ireland final, writes Stephen Barry.

The 22-year-old forward from Ballyragget was introduced as a 70th-minute substitute in their semi-final replay, but will make his first championship start in place of Mark Bergin.

Tipperary fans will remember Kelly from their League encounter, when Kelly’s two late goals sealed a five-point comeback win for the Cats.

Brian Cody includes surprise debutant in All-Ireland final team

He's selected ahead of the likes of Jonjo Farrell, John Powe rand Lester Ryan.

In a blog post as an U21, Kelly wrote, “Playing in Croke Park on All-Ireland Final day is the stuff that dreams are made of.”

His dream will come true on Sunday.

As expected, Kieran Joyce replaces the injured Michael Fennelly in Cody’s only other change.

Joyce is picked at centre-back as Conor Fogarty moves up into midfield, alongside TJ Reid.

Semi-final debutant Liam Blanchfield is retained at corner-forward, having scored three points against Waterford.

The Kilkenny team lines out as follows:

1 Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)

2 Paul Murphy (Danesfort)

3 Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

4 Shane Prendergast (Clara)

5 Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan)

6 Kieran Joyce (Rower Inistioge)

7 Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro)

8 T J Reid Ballyhale (Shamrocks)

9 Conor Fogarty (Erins Own)

10 Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon)

11 Richie Hogan (Danesfort)

12 Eoin Larkin (James Stephens)

13 Kevin Kelly (St Patricks)

14 Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

15 Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)


16 Richie Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

17 Jackie Tyrrell (James Stephens)

18 Robert Lennon (Bennettsbridge)

19 Diarmuid Cody (James Stephens)

20 Conor O Shea (Clara)

21 Lester Ryan (Clara)

22 Jonjo Farrell (Thomastown)

23 John Power (Carrickshock)

24 Mark Bergin (O'Loughlin Gaels)

25 Conor Martin (Emeralds)

26 Michael Malone (Mullinavat)

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