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Brendan Cummins reckons Brian Cody has been ‘energised’ by Henry Shefflin rivalry

Brian Cody

Brendan Cummins believes Brian Cody has been “energised” by his rivalry with Henry Shefflin in his 24th year in charge of Kilkenny.

Cody and Shefflin shared another tense handshake at Croke Park on Saturday night as Kilkenny triumphed over Galway in the Leinster Championship final, having been beaten by the Tribesmen in Salthill last month.

While Cody and Shefflin’s exchange didn’t look to be quite as cold as the one that followed the match in Salthill, much has been made of it nonetheless, as several minutes had passed after full time until the Galway boss went up to his former manager.

Tipperary great Brendan Cummins was speaking on RTE’s The Sunday Game and argued that Cody is more eager than ever to succeed due in part to his new rivalry with Shefflin.

Brian Cody Henry Shefflin

Brendan Cummins on Brian Cody.

“I think it has absolutely energised Brian Cody,” Cummins said.

“He’s been around the block so much, everybody has written him off, the narrative the last three years is, ‘This is Cody’s last year.’ In fairness to the man, the amount he has done with rebuilding teams.

“Now, I wouldn’t agree with it, I think just walk down the sideline, shake hands and say, ‘Right, that’s it. Thanks very much, see you the next day,’ and you move on.

“But he held the whole place in the palm of his hand [on Saturday] night. With the cameras following him around he thought, ‘I’ll go over now in a minute, maybe I won’t.’

“But certainly as sportspeople, we’d all like to say, ‘Look, go over and shake hands,’ and we’re not talking about it tonight. But Brian Cody is just very dogged in the way he goes about things and he’ll have been delighted that he got one over on Henry.”

Kilkenny march on to the All-Ireland semi-finals.

While Kilkenny certainly haven’t been perfect this year, having lost to Galway and Wexford in the round-robin stage of the Leinster Championship, they did pick up their third consecutive provincial title all the same.

Kilkenny won’t be in action again for another four weeks, as they await to see who they will play in the All-Ireland semi-final in July, with the preliminary quarter-finals and quarter-finals yet to be played.

One of Clare, Wexford or Kerry will take on Kilkenny, with Clare the most likely of those to set up a semi-final with the Cats, having gone toe to toe with All-Ireland champions Limerick twice in the Munster Championship.

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