Kilkenny manager Brian Cody
Double hurling champions, Limerick, are shaping their own path to success and are not copying Kilkenny or anyone else from the past, Noreside boss Brian Cody has insisted. There had been suggestions in the media over the past 18 months or so that the Shannonsiders, the current power in the game, had taken on ‘Kilkenny ways’ in their drive for success, but the James Stephens clubman rubbished the suggestion.
“Not at all,” was the response from the 11 times All-Ireland winning boss when asked did he think Limerick were set up to look like Kilkenny of the past.
“Why would they want to replicate anything from anyone else?”
“It depends on the players you have. They dictate how you play. You can try and impose different things on different players.
“The way Limerick play is outstanding.
“They don’t have to take anything from anyone because they have talent, a top class management team, terrific attitude on the field. They just go and play their game.
“I wouldn’t consider for one second that they have taken anything from anybody, and certainly not from us.”
The Kilkenny manager was speaking during a press conference to preview Saturday’s All-Ireland senior hurling championship semi-final between the counties in Croke Park (6pm), a game in which the defending MacCarthy Cup holders, Limerick will be favourites.
“Generally there have been no great expectations surrounding Kilkenny this year, apart from ourselves,” Cody said of a situation that saw Kilkenny quoted at 11-1 at one stage to win the All-Ireland.
“We don’t talk about what our ambitions are. Every team has their own ambitions. But as regard expectations from the media, the wider public, we weren’t mentioned in the list of contenders.”
Does that make things sweeter now that Kilkenny are in the semi-finals?
“No, no,” he insisted. “It is not a question of doing it for a particular reason, that someone else might have an opinion.
“It is a question just like with all sports people, they go out to win for themselves and the people involved with them.
“You can talk about other stuff all you like, but at the end of the day it is how you apply and think yourself that will decide things.”
When asked what worried or concerned him most about Limerick, he was easy and relaxed.
“Worry doesn’t come into it,” he insisted. “There is no point in worrying. Let’s be very clear about Limerick.
“I said from the start of the year that they are an outstanding team, the best in the country. As All-Ireland champions they are entitled to that respect.
“They then won the League, which further enhanced what they have done.
“Then there was the Munster final. Their performance there was exceptional.
“I am not sitting here just to build them up and take the pressure off us. I was asked what I thought of them. I think they are excellent.”
Limerick gave Kilkenny a bit of a beating (2-18 to 0-15) when the counties clashed in the National League earlier in the season, but Cody insisted that game would have no bearing on Saturday’s match.
For more from the Kilkenny People, see www.kilkennypeople.ie
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