Walsh confident Cody will be at helm when Cats defend crown

BRIAN CODY will be in charge of Kilkenny for a 14th consecutive season in 2012, reckons Tommy Walsh.

The Tullaroan man, who is set to pick up a record ninth successive All Star next month, has little doubt his manager will be in charge once more to defend their recently-won All-Ireland title.

Asked if he could see Cody stepping down, Walsh replied: “No, I can’t. He loves hurling and he loves managing the Kilkenny team. I couldn’t see him walking away. He loves the game and I presume he will stay on.”

Walsh has also told some of his more experienced team-mates possibly contemplating retirement to wait until they discuss the matter with Cody.

The likes of Michael Kavanagh and Eddie Brennan have yet to make their minds up about returning next year.

“In my own view, I don’t think anyone should ever make the decision to retire or go out on top or anything like that,” said Walsh. “I just think your hurling life is too short to be thinking anything like that. The best time to go is when you are half told to go. If I was any of the lads I wouldn’t be handing in the boots anyway.”

Walsh singles out Cody’s ability to maintain a short-term view on success as the key for the county’s bounty of glories.

“Everything is about making the right decisions for the team. Sometimes hard decisions have to be made and he makes them. He absolutely loves hurling. Any hurler will tell you it is all about getting the feeling. I would say at the start of every year he is just mad to get back and win the All-Ireland final and get that great feeling of being All-Ireland champions. That is what drives him on and when it drives him on it drives us on.”

According to Walsh, Kilkenny’s senior All-Ireland successes have actually taken the weight of expectation off the shoulders of U21s coming into the panel. Unlike Galway and Limerick where their under-age success has promised more at senior level, Walsh is of the mind young Cats only have to worry about making the senior team when they go up a grade.

“When the minors and U21s go in to the seniors in Kilkenny there is no pressure on them to go on and win an All-Ireland. You are just an individual trying to make the team. I think not having that pressure means an awful lot. That benefits us. When Limerick won it, they were expecting their U21s to come in and win a senior All-Ireland straight away.

“It is the same in Galway every year and that is pretty unfair Galway seem to be getting the experience now and they have the young lads coming on. I think we will see a lot of Galway over the next few years.”

Meanwhile, the Tribesmen’s new hurling manager will be given a three-year term and will not be subjected to a review until he has served two seasons.

Galway hurling officials hope to have John McIntyre’s successor in place towards the end of October and a seven-man committee has been drawn up to interview candidates. They have set a deadline of October 7 for clubs to submit candidates and they hope to have the new manager installed by their board meeting on October 24th.

Galway hurling board chairman, Joe Byrne, said the new manager will be handed a three-year term, which will be subject to a review after the second year.

U21 manager, Anthony Cunningham, remains the favourite to land the job.

The U21 football manager Alan Mulholland is expected to succeed Tomás Ó Flatharta later this week after last night meeting with Galway football board representatives to discuss the position.

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