GAA: Kilkenny manager Brian Cody refuses to reveal Henry Shefflin's role in All-Ireland final
Last Updated: 21/08/14 11:29am
Henry Shefflin has had to settle for a substitute's role this summer
Brian Cody has refused to be drawn on whether Henry Shefflin will start for Kilkenny in next month’s All-Ireland final.
Speaking at the Cats’ All-Ireland final press night, Cody stated Shefflin was fit and able for 70 minutes of hurling, but that didn’t necessarily mean he will make the starting line-up against Tipperary.
"Whoever comes on, comes on. Obviously there is huge speculation about Henry. His career has lent itself to that."
“For certain, he has 70 minutes in him,” said Cody of Shefflin, the nine-time All-Ireland winner, who so far this summer has been playing a substitute’s role.
“He has 73 or 74 minutes in him. He most definitely has. He’s as fit. He’s in great shape. There is no doubt about that.”
Yet whether or not Shefflin would serve a better role as an impact substitute was something Cody would not reveal.
“To be honest, I don’t even think along those lines,” he said. “The team that will be picked is the team that we think is the best team to start.
“Whoever comes on, comes on. Obviously there is huge speculation about Henry. His career has lent itself to that.
“But from our point of view, we have a panel of players. No player is in a (different) category to anyone else. And that’s the way it has to be from a team point of view.
ALL-IRELAND SHC FINAL
Kilkenny v Tipperary
Sunday, September 7
Live on Sky Sports 3
“Nobody appreciates that more than Henry himself.”
As for hurling itself, and some of the recent debate that it would be better served by the black card already introduced to football, Cody was adamant that the game doesn’t need any changing.
“Well I would be absolutely opposed to the black card coming in for hurling,” he said. “Everyone talks about the quality of the game that is there now, and the standard is very, very good.
“After last year’s championship everyone was waxing lyrical about the whole thing as if hurling was in a terrific place. So, I mean, why would we need to tinker with it again? Is it because the black card is there in football?
“I certainly see absolutely no need for anything like that. I haven’t paid any attention to anything it might have done for football, because we’re hurling at the moment. And I think hurling is great, everything about it is very, very good, and we don’t need to tinker with it at all.”
Watch the All-Ireland final between Kilkenny and Tipperary live on Sky Sports 3 on September 7