Last Monday saw the totally unsurprising re-appointment of Ireland’s answer to Alex Ferguson and Bruce Lombardi – Brian Cody.
In Kilkenny circles, It was inevitable that he would continue on into his 17th season, but there was idle speculation everywhere else that he would walk into the sunset with a remarkable ten All-Ireland titles to his name.
While we await to see how he tackles 2015, throughout the 16 years he has been in charge of the Black and Amber he has pulled off quite a few tactical masterstrokes. There are three however, that deserve special mention.
3. 2012 – The selection of Walter Walsh
Who would think of it? Only Brian Cody seemingly. He had an abundance of All Stars on his bench but chose to spring the 20-year-old UCD student into, not just his first All-Ireland final, but his first championship start with the Kilkenny seniors.
The best part, he scored 1-3 and ended up going home with the Man of The Match award. Perhaps, that’s where Davy Fitzgerald got his Shane O’Donnell idea from, which worked in a similar fashion. Nevertheless, it was a genius move by Cody.
2. 2011 -Lar meet Jackie
How do you stop one of the most ruthless forwards in the country? The same forward who got three goals against you the year before? Seems an impossible task to us mere mortals, but we don’t wear Glanbia caps.
Brian Cody decides to tell his trusty number 4, a fellow Village man who answers to the name of Jackie Tyrell, to stick to Lar Corbett like glue. The result? Lar is scoreless from play, and Kilkenny have 33 All-Irelands, Job done.
1. 2014- The terrible threesome
As if the Walter Walsh choice wasn’t enough of a masterstroke, Cody decides to ring the changes for the 2014 replay against Tipperary.
He makes three to glorious effect, John Power managed 1-1, Kieran Joyce was awarded Man Of The Match and Padraig Walsh nullifies an otherwise rampant Premier attack. All in a days work for Mr Cody. Who knows what he has up his sleeve for next year!
Ashling Dalton, Pundit Arena