Having tasted their first ever qualifier defeat, many have questioned if Brian Cody will wish to remain in charge for another season.
However, Kilkenny legend and current under-21 hurling manager Eddie Brennan believes that we will see Cody patrol the sidelines once again in 2018.
Brian Cody’s legacy is set in stone. The James Stephens man has overseen the greatest domination the sport of hurling has ever seen. But for the first time since 2004/05, Kilkenny have gone two years without capturing an All-Ireland title.
Absolutely nobody would request that Cody was removed from his position; to do so would be insane. But the worry right now would be that the hurling legend might walk away from his post.
Should Cody remain in charge for 2018, it will be his 20th season in the Cats hot seat. That is an unheard of tenure in hurling coaching. However, presumably, the time flies when you’ve won eleven All-Irelands in 19 seasons.
One man who doesn’t fear the departure of Brian Cody is a former player of his. Brennan is confident we will see Cody once again in 2018.
Speaking to GAA.ie, Brennan revealed he doesn’t see Cody walking away just yet.
“He’ll probably look at it and say regardless of what happens with the U-21s, there’s the nucleus of a group of fellas coming through that can certainly develop. There’s potential in them, it’s just how that potential is harnessed and developed that’s the key to it.
“I would expect more than ever that Brian will be back at the helm again next year.”
After his recent triumph of the Leinster U-21 Hurling Championship, Brennan’s reputation has grown.
The former All-Star was in charge of the Cats side that suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Westmeath in 2016.
But Brennan stuck with it and returned in 2017 with great success. The Graigue-Ballycallan club man feels that the Cats do have talent on the way.
“Ah there is, there’s good work being done at underage, we hit a blip where you had your Wexfords and Dublins really dominating the underage Leinster Championships, both at minor and U-21 level.
“That was the challenge for us this year, particularly with the U-21s, to get them competitive again and try to get a provincial crown which is just invaluable.
“So, there is good talent there. St. Kieran’s have been leading the charge at Colleges level and CBS have been close to them. There are definitely good players coming through, but if you look at Brian’s tenure as a manager he has been slow or reluctant to graduate fellas.”
For 2017, the hurling world is safe from the claws of the Cats. We should, however, be weary of the future.
Kevin Daly, Pundit Arena