Kilkenny took their foot off the pedestal last year, but they are slowly emerging as a force in the hurling world once again.
With TJ Reid’s return, the implementation of a new short-passing game and the incorporation of many young, talented players into their panel, this remains a Kilkenny side that possess many dangerous traits.
With the inevitable return of high-calibre players such as Richie Hogan, Colin Fennelly and Paul Murphy, the Kilkenny faithful will be delighted with their position and performances thus far.
Another player that will be instrumental to Kilkenny’s resurgence in 2018 is Glenmore’s, Ger Aylward.
In 2015, Aylward made immediate impression on the Kilkenny team, hitting an incredible 3-05 against Wexford on his debut – a year where he also went on to receive an All-Star award.
Unfortunately, the following year, the Glenmore club-man suffered a dreaded ACL injury and since then, he has failed to reach the heights of his incredible debut year.
Aylward last featured for the Cats in June 2017, a championship game against Wexford where he was taken off after 33 minutes for Chris Bolger. Since then, he hasn’t played with his club or county due to various troubling injuries.
Speaking to the Kilkenny People, Cody stated that he could have used Alyward in their previous meeting versus Tipperary and that his return to the starting fifteen is imminent.
“Ger Aylward is ready to go We are being very, very careful with him. He has put in a couple of tough years, but he has put in a magnificent effort.
“He could have played today (against Tipperary) but we weren’t prepared to take a chance on him. We got a nice bit of training into him yesterday to give him a further chance.”
Kilkenny have lost their three previous meetings to Wexford, but the re-addition of the dangerous Ger Aylward could prove to be an integral element to Cody’s armour as the Cats attempt to return to their traditional winning ways.