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Michael Fennelly on Cody: “he’s still bringing home silverware”

Michael Fennelly believes that Brian Cody has done well to win the last two Leinster titles but feels there is room for improvements

Michael Fennelly believes that Brian Cody has done well to win the last two Leinster titles but feels there is room for tactical improvements with Kilkenny.

BY SHANE STAPLETON
Michael Fennelly believes that Brian Cody has done well to win the last two Leinster titles but feels there is room for tactical improvements with Kilkenny.

The Ballyhale Shamrocks man won eight All-Irelands under Cody and understands that there have been some dissenting voices in the county.

The Cats last lifted the All-Ireland title in 2015 and, while they have lifted the Bob O’Keeffe Cup in 2020 and 2021, they came up short in semi-finals thereafter.

“I think they’ve done very well the past couple of years,” says Offaly boss Fennelly. “They’re still bringing home silverware, which is not easy.

“I know there’s a lot of people out there saying they’d like a fresh face there and something different.

“But personally, I don’t see someone there that’s stepping up to that position yet — that’s the honest truth.

“I think people do like to see change in everything, whether you’re there four or five years — and Brian is there 20-odd years at this stage. He’s still bringing home silverware.

“So it’s a catch-22, it really is. If we change management, are we going to be any better, are we going to bring home silverware? I don’t know. No one knows, to be honest.

“So I think there is a decent group of players there, and I think Conor Phelan has come in and from what I gather he has brought the players on from the coaching side of things.

“Maybe tactically, you would like to see Kilkenny setting up a bit better against opposition because tactically the game has gone to another level.

“In Kilkenny, we probably were so good back in the day that we didn’t need to worry too much about tactics.

“Of course we had our half-forward line coming out and midfielders deep, so there were minute enough tactics against Cork and these teams of how we split the channels and that on opposition puckouts.

“So we always did a bit of tactical work but nothing too significant because the personnel we had back then, lads could win their own ball.

“We had a serious team and talent, so that was hugely advantageous in terms of overcoming teams without thinking too much on the tactical side of things,” he adds.

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