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Michael Gannon Interviews Brian Cody

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Michael had the great pleasure of meeting one of his personal hero's this week, Kilkenny Hurling Manager Brian Cody. He went to Nolan Park to talk to the man who has led Kilkenny to lift the Liam McCarthy cup 7 times including last years historic 4 in a row win.

Michael was interviewed in the Mirror on 24th of Feb about his interview he did with Brian O'Driscoll and Paul O'Connell from the Irish Rugby team, when asked who he would like to interview he said he would love to meet and talk to Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody. The reason being that both of his parents are from Kilkenny and the whole family are huge Cat's supports and that Brian is one of Michael's personal hero's.

Brian Cody

Brian Cody is the most successful GAA manager in modern times. He has won 7 All-Ireland hurling championships (Liam McCarthy Cup) in the last 11 years, and in 2009 completed an historic four-in-a-row with his brilliant Kilkenny team. They are the only hurling team to ever do this and are hoping to make it 5 in a row this year. His players adore him.

He was born in Kilkenny and played for Kilkenny himself; during his time as a player he enjoyed a successful career at club level with James Stephens and at inter-county level with Kilkenny. He established himself as a full-back with Kilkenny throughout the 1970s and 1980s and collected three All-Ireland titles, four Leinster titles and two National Hurling League titles.

When he is not coaching the winning Kilkenny hurling team he works at St. Patrick's De La Salle national school in Kilkenny, where he has been principal since 2009.

Michael:

"I went to Nowlan Park, the home stadium of the Kilkenny Senior Hurling team to meet their manager Brian Cody. Brian has been one of my greatest heroes of all time. He, in my opinion is the best Senior Hurling Manager we have ever had.

Both my parents are from Kilkenny so though we don't live there anymore I still have a very strong connection to the place and try to get to as many Kilkenny games as possible and have never missed an All-Ireland involving Kilkenny.

I was thrilled to meet Brian. I asked him many questions like, 'What was it like to get four All-Ireland Championships in a row?' He said it was always brilliant to win any All-Ireland - whether it be your first one or your fourth in a row. It was testament to the commitment of the players to go out and play as hard as they did.

When I asked him was there a special diet to keep the team healthy he said that there was a nutritionist that works with the team and has done for a while and keeps all the lads healthy. They make sure to drink a lot when they are playing and in training.

I also asked him why was hurling so strong in Kilkenny? Hurling has always been strong in Kilkenny. It comes from the roots up - from young players in primary schools to the teachers who may be past players training them and their commitment and the time that they put in to it. Young people around Kilkenny are always seen with a hurl in their hand no matter where you go. Also seeing the success of past and present Kilkenny teams from club to county level will always give young players coming up through the ranks a boost and add to the passion they have for the game.

One of my final questions was - Is there a hunger in the Kilkenny team to get the Liam McCarthy Cup again this year? There are a lot of really good teams out there this year. It will be very tough. We are not really thinking about the 5 in a row. We are just thinking about being in contention with the rest of the Counties that will be there come the All-Ireland competition and there is no reason why we shouldn't be there.

After my interview with Brian we had a bit of a casual chat and I told him about my Father being a Diksborough man and my Mother being from the same club, The Village, as he was.

I told him that I had a dream that I could get my picture taken with the Liam McCarthy Cup and it turned out that he had it in his car. So we went out onto the half-way line of the pitch in Nowlan Park and I was presented the Liam McCarthy Cup by my hero Brian Cody!

Here's to 5 in a row!

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