Martin Comerford added to Brian Cody's Kilkenny backroom team

Martin Comerford added to Brian Cody's Kilkenny backroom team
Martin Comerford on the sidelines with Meath last year.

Martin Comerford will complete Brian Cody's set of selectors in a new-look Kilkenny backroom team.

Comerford, a six-time All-Ireland-winner under Cody, joins DJ Carey and James McGarry as Cody's right-hand men, with Michael Comerford already confirmed as strength and conditioning coach.

His appointment, ratified by the Kilkenny County Board last night, follows Michael Dempsey stepping down after 14 years working with Cody, and Derek Lyng switching to become Kilkenny U20 manager, replacing Carey.

Writing in his Kilkenny People column after Kilkenny's All-Ireland final defeat last August, Comerford diagnosed Kilkenny’s problems as a “systems failure” following Richie Hogan’s red card.

“I can’t remember a game changing so dramatically and becoming so one-sided after a sending off. It was as if there was a total systems failure in the Kilkenny camp. That was strange,” wrote Comerford.

“Tipperary took over completely in the second half. They had their strategy worked out well to deal with the threat of Colin Fennelly. His assists - setting up other players for scores - have been off the charts this season, but Tipp tied him up.

“When Tipp had the extra man we were still driving the ball towards Fennelly’s position. That was where the system appeared to fall down.”

He added: “It is not codding ourselves to suggest there is the makings of an All-Ireland-winning team in this group. Sunday can’t wipe away what was achieved against Cork and against Limerick. There are a lot of young players involved in the squad. They will learn from this experience.”

Comerford, now 40, retired from inter-county hurling in 2011 but has continued to line out with his club, O'Loughlin Gaels, leading them to a Kilkenny senior title in 2016.

He has previous experience of an inter-county backroom team, having been involved with the Meath hurlers.

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