GAA Expert & Columnist
Jamesie O'Connor: Brian Cody never deviated from his core beliefs
Last Updated: 31/07/19 10:45am
Jamesie O'Connor looks at what makes these Kilkenny and Tipperary teams tick, as they switch their focus to the All-Ireland final.
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.
Limerick would have told themselves there was a Kilkenny onslaught coming, they would have braced themselves for it, but when it hits you, it knocks you back.
The ferocity, physicality and intensity the Cats brought last Saturday really set the tone, and they brought a level of aggression that we haven't seen in quite a while.
From Brian Cody's perspective, it must have been the most satisfying victory of his career. They were up against a hell of a team, the All-Ireland champions who had obliterated Tipperary in the Munster final.
People spoke after 2013 that the game was changing.
I don't think Cody ever deviated from his core beliefs. His values are in the spirit in a group, the importance of work-rate, honesty, and at the same time a level of tactical awareness that he probably hasn't been given credit for over the decade.
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But he had the team at the perfect pitch on Saturday. Physically, they didn't wilt. They went toe-to-toe with Limerick for 75 minutes. Tactically, they were aware with a game-plan there.
There's just an honesty about the performance that the players give. If you don't buy into that, Cody wants nothing to do with you, and he won't hand you a jersey. You've got to earn it and buy into those values.
You have to admire that and respect it. In a way, you'd be crazy to back against him in an All-Ireland final. In his mind, he hasn't forgotten 2010. He's probably waited this length of time to get another crack at Liam Sheedy, and get payback.
The Cats will feel 2016 hasn't yet been avenged. Kilkenny with vengeance on their mind, make for dangerous opponents, and that spells trouble for Tipp.
Former players have been glowing in their praise for Sheedy, speaking about his motivational powers.
I think he beat a path to get Eamon O'Shea back on board. Tommy Dunne is a fantastic coach. Darragh Egan is a fantastic coach.
Tipp had to be at a very high level to beat the Leinster champions on Sunday. The Premier boss has got that ability to get the best out of the players. The set-up is ultra-professional.
What a treat it is to have Sheedy and Cody - neither of whom is going to give an inch, neither is going to take a step backwards in the final in two weeks' time.
There's obviously huge respect between them, and they carry themselves in the right way on the sideline, but there'll be tactics, there'll be match-ups, we've all this to look forward to over the next few weeks.
Roll on August 18.
Sky Sports' GAA coverage continues on Saturday as the Super 8s comes to a head, with both Mayo vs Donegal and Kerry vs Meath live and exclusive.