A staggering run of success has thrust Kilkenny manager, Brian Cody, into the pantheon of all times greats, it has been claimed.
His achievements stand equal with the likes of the great Sir Alex Ferguson and American football legend, Vince Lombardi because of his amazing win ratio.
“He ranks with all the global names,” insisted Glanbia executive, Brian Phelan, when paying tribute to the county hurling boss at Friday’s glittering All-Ireland medal presentation dinner at which the senior and minor players and officials were feted.
“The team qualities and culture are down to him,” Mr Phelan insisted. “He instils great drive and will to win in the players, and there is a wonderful humility within the squad.
“They are great ambassadors for Kilkenny and for the game.”
On Monday night, Brian Cody was confirmed again as Kilkenny manager for the 2015 season, along with the selectors who helped shape the latest All-Ireland/National League double this year, Michael Dempsey (St Joseph’s), James McGarry (Bennettsbridge) and Derek Lyng (Emeralds).
“Listen lads, I don’t know where we go after this, but I know we won’t ever see the likes of him again,” gushed County Board chairman, Ned Quinn, after the Selection Committee was confirmed for what will be a 17th consecutive season for Mr Cody.
To date the James Stephens clubman has guided Kilkenny to a record 10 All-Irelands; six doubles; 14 Leinster championships; eight National Leagues and six Walsh Cups.
During his 27 years as Manchester United boss, Sir Alex won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier Leagues and two Champions Leagues.
Lombardi was a peerless American football player and coach. He was head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the sixties.
He led the team to three straight and five total NFL championships in seven years, including winning the first two Super Bowls following the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons.
Meanwhile, this season’s successful Kilkenny minor hurling management team has been retained for 2015. Guiding affairs again will be Pat Hoban (manager; Mullinavat), Sean Kelly (St Martin’s), James Meagher (St Lachtain’s) and Pat Nolan (Blacks and Whites).
Paying tribute to Mr Hoban on his reappointment, Ned Quinn pointed out that he held a rare record in that he guided county teams to intermediate (2) and minor All-Ireland victories.
Other appointments confirmed on Monday were: Brían Ryan (Fenians) manager of the under-21 team; the Selection Committee will be finalised later; county football selectors, Christy Walsh (manager), Pat Mulrooney, Peter Dukelow, Pat O’Hanlon, Frank O’Meara.