Brian Cody has warned his players will need to be “extremely vigilant” about Covid infection ahead of next week’s All Ireland Hurling final as case numbers have risen sharply in recent weeks.
The Kilkenny manager, who is preparing for a 17th All-Ireland SHC Final, said it would be “too cruel for everyone” if they were sidelined due to a Covid issue.
At a media event in Kilkenny yesterday, held outdoors to emphasize her vigilant approach, Cody said it would be an “absolute disaster” if it hit either camp between this Sunday week.
“It’s back in abundance and it’s a problem, it’s a problem. Players have been very vigilant so far and will certainly continue to be,” he said.
“This media event is taking place outdoors just to keep everyone safe again. It would be absolutely disastrous for anyone from Kilkenny or Limerick to have a problem with Covid going to the final because that would be just too cruel for anyone.”
Cody said Kilkenny has been “very aware” of the whole thing over the past three seasons.
“Our doctor Dr. Tadhg Crowley is a top man and he knows exactly how things can go wrong and the players are smart young lads. They were very conscious that they would avoid anything that could in any way affect their chances of making it to the All-Ireland finals day.”
Kilkenny’s only injury concern is Conor Fogarty, who missed out against Clare on the final day.
“He’s still not fully recovered so we don’t know exactly how he’ll be doing. We hope. He skidded a bit over the weekend so we’ll have to wait and see.”
Cody has welcomed umpire Colm Lyons’ appointment to his first All Ireland hurling final, despite concerns he may have had about the late free that gave Conor Cooney the opportunity to play their Leinster round robin game against Galway to win at Salthill, which he gladly took.
“The reality is that the players, managers, umpires make mistakes – and honest mistakes are okay and there’s nothing you can do about that,” Cody said.
“It’s Kilkenny and Limerick’s All-Ireland final, it’s the players’ All-Ireland final, but it’s his All-Ireland final too. He will reach the maximum level of his skills and he will come with a proper agenda to represent himself and the game as it should be and that’s it.
“We all get excited on the sidelines and during a game and you see something, ‘Jee, that shouldn’t have been blown’ or ‘that should have been blown’. That happens, but at the end of the day you have to have a lot of respect for all referees because it’s not an easy position. It won’t be easy for the players to compete against each other, but he’s taking it all
“He has a great responsibility and a great realization that a decision from him could actually decide the game. So he will do everything to do his best and that is all you could wish for.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/hurling/brian-cody-fearing-a-covid-disaster-41820194.html Brian Cody fears a Covid disaster