All Ireland SHC Final: Brian Cody only counts on form - not reputation
FORGET reputation, it's all about performance in the here and now. This, according to Niall Corcoran, has been one of the secrets behind Kilkenny's perennial penchant for reaching - and usually winning - All-Ireland finals.
"It's probably what Brian Cody has brought to this Kilkenny squad ... 'names don't mean anything here'. Everything's based on performance at training, performance in games," the Dublin defender suggests.
"The case in point being Ger Aylward this year. On the squad for a couple of years. I remember chatting to Martin Fogarty a couple of weeks ago about him, and he was telling me Ger had been floating around and in and out, a bit inconsistent ... but he's come in this year and taken his chance. It's that case of whether you're Henry Shefflin or JJ Delaney or Ger Aylward, if you're performing in training you get your chance."
For all that, Corcoran doesn't believe Kilkenny's current squad retains the same depth of previous ones. "They mightn't have the 25/26 players they had seven or eight years ago, but they still have 18, 19, 20 players who can do a job," he says.
"If you look at the players they've lost - really bar JJ, they haven't been regular starters. The likes of Cillian Buckley has taken on more of a leadership role. He was excellent in the Leinster final and he had a phenomenal game against Waterford.
"You have Tommy (Walsh) and Henry leaving and they need new leaders, and these guys are taking that on board. They mightn't have the same impact off the bench. I think Galway's bench probably are stronger when you look at what they have."