Kilkenny legend Cody’s a cool Cat
For a man who had just earned himself the well deserved title of the most successful hurling manager of time, Brian Cody was the essence of composure as wild celebrations engulfed the Kilkenny camp following yesterday’s spectacular triumph over Waterford.
Cody’s famed coolness and single-mindedness have rarely been more in focus than in masterminding this epic three-in-a-row All Ireland treat.
"But the players are the people who did the business. They were simply outstanding.
“People talked about three-in-a-row motivation but that has never been a necessity for us — to win an All Ireland is always special no matter how many you manage to win," declared Cody.
He has now steered Kilkenny to six All Ireland titles since 1999 and looks set to continue in his role for a long time to come.
"These are just tremendous players to work with," he added. "They want to play, they want to win and they never give less than 100 per cent.
“In the early stages of the game we did not know what might happen but then we got a couple of goals and that helped us. You never can take anything for granted but I must say I was absolutely delighted with the way my team performed on this occasion."
Cody, known for his thoroughness and attention to detail, had already spooked Waterford’s dream of glory after 20 minutes yet he was by no means in the comfort zone on the touchline.
"Waterford had earned their place in the final but things went right for us. I’m delighted to get three-in-a-row but, as I said, an All Ireland title is a tremendous honour in its own right," insisted Cody.
Waterford manager Davy Fitzgerald, while accepting that his team had turned in a below par performance, pleaded with the media and fans not to be "too hard on the lads."
And he went on: "I am the manager and I must accept my share of the responsibility.
“I would rather that any flak be directed at me than at the players. I am very proud of what they have achieved this year but you would have to say that Waterford were absolutely awesome on this occasion.
"When a team builds up the kind of momentum that they did in this match, it becomes very hard to stay with them. They made us work very hard but all the time they were punishing us."
Kilkenny captain James Cha Fitzpatrick made it clear that the team’s three-in-a-row triumph meant everything to the players.
"There were different occasions over the course of the past 100 years or so that Kilkenny threatened to do it but never quite succeeded. This time round we have managed to land the treble and it’s just fantastic. We want everyone in Kilkenny to enjoy it and to make the most of it."
Fitzpatrick, an inspirational midfielder this year, has shown ebullient leadership skills and looks as if he could hold the baton next year again.
"We will just enjoy the three-in-a-row for now and there will be some party in Kilkenny when we get back there on Monday night.
“Not only did we win this for ourselves but Brian Cody has now become the greatest manager in the history of hurling and no better man," added Fitzpatrick.