Colin Fennelly fears being dropped for Kilkenny's semi-final showdown with Waterford

The 31-year-old admits he is concerned Brian Cody may drop him for the game after being taken off against Galway
Colin Fennelly fears being dropped for Kilkenny's semi-final showdown with Waterford

Colin Fennelly poses for a portrait at Kilkenny Castle for the GAA's All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Series national launch. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Kilkenny captain Colin Fennelly admits he is fearing the chop for this Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final having been taken off against Galway in last Saturday week’s Leinster final.

Along with another established star Walter Walsh, the Shamrocks man was held scoreless before being taken off midway through the second half.

Fennelly looked dejected on the bench before substitute Richie Hogan engineered a victory for the Cats in the end, allowing Fennelly to raise the Bob O’Keeffe Cup, Kilkenny’s first provincial title in four years.

But ahead of facing Waterford this weekend, the 31-year-old admits he is concerned Brian Cody may drop him for the game.

He says of the selection process: “You’d be under pressure all the time. For every game. People out there might think, ‘oh yeah, he’ll start this weekend.’ It’s never the case. 

“Grand, if you think you played well but if you’re going bad in training, Brian always goes by training. He always says, ‘you’re as good as your last performance’. And the last performance is the last training session played.”

Upon leaving the fray, Fennelly couldn’t hide his dejection with his display. 

“I was certainly hugely disappointed with my own performance. I don’t think I contributed enough for the team in the game so certainly that was hugely disappointing. I was hard to see us breaking through, we just couldn’t break through Galway that whole game.”

Not for a second did he consider his body language sitting in the stand.

“You’re playing a Leinster final, you’re in the moment and if you’re thinking like that, you’re not in the right frame of mind for a Leinster final. Me walking off, if I was disappointed it was because I was disappointed because I was absolutely gutted.

“I was speaking to Wally (Walsh) after the game and he was saying how disappointed he was and I was like, ‘Sure Wally, you’re not going to be happy so why have a smile on your face?’ 

“That’s just the way it was and after the game I was absolutely delighted. I was out hugging the lads, patting them on the back, just saying, ‘Thanks so much. Well done to put in such a huge performance’.”

After a poor run of form three years ago, Fennelly turned to his club manager Henry Shefflin who told him to concentrate on full-forward for the season and it worked wonders.

“I probably need to rethink things again. Again, from club to county, it’s a huge step up. There’s a huge difference there. But that certainly helped get my focus back on track.”

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