KILKENNY GAA secretary, Ned Quinn has been around the block. He is succinct, with a clear delivery of opinion. He is well versed in the demands and expectations of hurling teams......especially Kilkenny teams in All-Ireland finals.
Would he have an opinion as to whether the result of last year’s senior final would beween Kilkenny and Tipperary would have a bearing on the upcoming game?
“Funnily enough, I never feel that a previous result has any effect on a current encounter,” opened the proud Mooncoin man. “I can see a situation where it might, maybe if there were two new teams, or teams facing each other for the first time.
“But with two teams of the proven pedigree of Kilkenny and Tipperary, I don’t think that it will have any influence at all. The 2011 final is a stand alone game.
“It has always been our view in Kilkenny that the best team are the All-Ireland champions. We have been highly acclaimed and admired as champions, and we have also been very magnanimous in defeat.
“Some teams will offer congratulations with reservations. They might apportion blame in some direction for their demise, but that has never been the Kilkenny way”.
Have you been impressed with the Kilkenny performances thus far?
“I have been hugely impressed with the players attitude post the National League final,” he replied. “There has been a perceptible lift in training. There has been a perceptible lift in the approach to training. Things have moved up several gears.
“People forget that during the League we were short a number of players. I feel we did exceptionally well to get to the League final, and although we got a bit of a hiding, the whole movement since has been upwards to the extent that I feel that we are now ready to give it a considerable lash. I feel we are ready for a big game.”
Being an unconditional admirer of Brian Cody, can you tell supporters how he keeps going, how he is all the time so highly motivated?
Surely he has nothing to prove at this juncture?
“That is the only thing I have not been able to figure out about Brian Cody,” Mr Quinn conced. “His commitment, and his desire to have Kilkenny the best that they can be are central to his being.
“Since he first came on board he has built four teams, and brought an unprecedented number of All Ireland to the county.”
His love of hurling is well documented. Would you think that this element is one of the core issues in Brian Cody’s metabolism that makes him the hurling man that he is?
An out and out Kilkenny man
“He is an out and out club man which I feel grounds him,” Ned felt. “He is also an out and out Kilkenny man. In my view he has the building blocks in the right place.
“There is a tremendous respect unilaterally around the team. The players trust him to do the right thing by them at all times. He trusts them to reciprocate that trust.
“There is absolute honesty in what every one of them does. It is a one for all movement there. He is not afraid either to give youth their heads.
“I mean what manager would, in an All-Ireland final, bring in John Hoyne to take on one of the greatest backs of all time, Brian Whelehan. Brian Cody did, and it worked.”
Finally, in the knowledge that the redoubtable Mooncoin man sings the Rose of Mooncoin in the dressing-room after winning, we asked him would he be expecting to give us yet another blast.
“I have done so after every win, and I would love to do it just one more time,” he finished with a devilish smile.