The former England football and race horse trainer Mick Channon was once asked what makes a great football manager, and he replied, “Great players.”
Kilkenny hurling boss Brian Cody will know what he meant, and he proved it again on Sunday when asked if TJ Reid’s match winning point in the NHL final was a training ground move.
“TJ likes to take line balls and score points with them. It looked as if he was set up for it. It was good thinking, it was clever and it was good composure just to give it to Richie and he to give it back to him,” Cody said.
“It was a very good score. If it hadn’t gone over the bar the final whistle was going so it was a very, very well worked score, there’s no doubt about that.
“Straight off the training ground from my book? I’ve never seen it before.”
In 16 years in charge of the Cats, Cody has now won eight league titles. That means, as my colleague Cian Murphy pointed out in Monday’s Irish Sun, that the rest of hurling’s top guns have only won the same number of leagues as Cody in that time.
It’s some record for a man who is normally as cool as a … cat.
But Cody was also involved in a minor spat with the Tipperary bench on Sunday when he went to sit down with them during the first half of an incredibly entertaining league final.
Tempers did fray but typical Cody, he laughed it all off afterwards when he said, “I think I made a mistake in which bench I was at. That happens. We’re neighboring counties, you know. Who knows what can happen.
“These things happen. It was a great day. It was a great day’s hurling and a great day’s passion for the whole thing and long may it last.”
Some papers in Dublin did try to suggest on Monday that the GAA would investigate the sideline spat and might even take action against Cody for his part in it.
There’s more chance of me winning the lottery.