You can now see Part 2 HERE!
Brian Cody’s recent announcement to stay on for his 19th season in 2017, made many a Wexford man shudder. He has to lose heart and pack it in someday…he has to!
After I’d shed a few quiet tears I thought I’d look at the numbers behind his reign as the greatest hurling manager.
Cody’s Main Men
In Brian Cody’s 214 League and Championship games over the past 18 seasons he has seen 144 hurlers from 30 clubs play for Kilkenny. Some have been given the chance to impress in an early February league opener, others have taken their chance and led the Cats into battle season after season.
Below is the table of the 20 most capped players during the 18 seasons.
In that list we see some of the greatest hurlers to have picked up a hurl. Jackie Tyrell’s recent retirement saw the 4th most capped player leave the stage. Eoin Larkin, a fellow Village man, now leads the list of most capped active players.
Incredibly 2014 saw the retirement of 5 of the top 11 most capped hurlers that Cody had used. The All Ireland Final Replay of 2014 had 17 players carrying an average of 60 NHL & SHC appearances each, Kilkenny’s next match in the 2015 league opener fielded a team with an average of 29 NHL & SHC appearances each – the squad experience was halved in one winter. Despite this huge loss Kilkenny drove on to win the 2015 All Ireland, surely one of Cody’s greatest achievements.
Cody’s Top 15 by Jersey
The team below is based on the most times any player wore an individual jersey over the past 18 League and Championship seasons.
Not a bad team. Martin Comerford has an equal number of appearances in the number 10 jersey as Walter Walsh but we can’t have ‘Gorta’ taking 2 spots on the XV.
One thing noticeable from looking through the selection history is that Cody constantly rotates players through his team. Henry Shefflin wore the number 11 in only 36 of his 128 appearances. Eddie Brennan wore the number 13 in only 31 of his 113 appearances. Settling into a jersey seems to be discouraged.
Cody also gives players try-out in multiple positions, Tommy Walsh wore 9 different numbers on his back, DJ Carey and Cha Fitzpatrick wore 8 different numbers, Richie Hogan also has had 8 different jerseys to date. Many of the players Cody has brought through have been moved from Forward to Midfield to Back (e.g. Cillian Buckley, Tommy Walsh, Padraig Walsh). Players are given opportunities until they find a place they can excel in.
Beware the dreaded 13
I named this website after my favourite hurling tactic, the removal of the corner forward, every GAA managers first call to action when the game needs a change. Well….Brian Cody certainly knows best……
As you can see from the table above the poor auld corner forwards (13 & 15) have been the most likely players to be subbed by Cody. The two most subbed players in his reign? Eddie Brennan (30 times) and Aidan Fogarty (29)!
Beware being handed the number 13 jersey for Kilkenny…..
Keep Pearse Stadium out of Leinster
The real reason why Galway can’t play at home in the Leinster Championship?
Brian Cody’s record in Galway : Played 7 Won 2 Lost 5
Galway has been where Cody has had his worst record as a manager.
Surely Ned Quinn and his county men don’t fear crossing the Shannon?
The only other major ground where Kilkenny have a losing record under Cody is Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
Cody has beaten 8 different teams in Semple Stadium and 10 different teams in Croke Park.
More to come…..
I will be posting a few more articles on Codys reign in the next week so stay tuned.