Loughnane wasn't impressed by Kilkenny's 'agricultural hurlers'

11 September 2017

The Kilkenny team before the All-Ireland U21HC final clash against Limerick at Semple Stadium, Thurles.
©INPHO/Cathal Noonan.

Ger Loughnane was shocked by how poor Kilkenny were in last Saturday's All-Ireland U21 hurling final, claiming he had "never seen a Kilkenny team in a final with so many agricultural hurlers".

Under the headline 'Catastrophe' in today's Irish Daily Star, Loughnane questions why Brian Cody would want to continue as senior manager when there appears to be no ready-made replacements for the great players who brought so much success to the county in the last decade.

"By now, even Brian Cody realises that time waits for no-one. The golden era is over and young recruits are not only needed but vital if Kilkenny are to be serious challengers in 2018," the former Clare All-Ireland winning manager wrote in his column.

"As he looked on last Saturday, even Cody must have reservations about staying on as manager. This was the worst display by a Kilkenny underage team since this very side was hammered by Dublin at Nowlan Park in the first round of the minor three years ago.

"Such a lack of pace. So little finesse. An unusual lack of physicality. And not a forward of any potential in sight. Four points from play in a final must be unprecedented for a Kilkenny U21 team. And more discouragingly, those who were seen to have serious potential beforehand - Richie Leahy, Johnny Walsh, Sean Morrissey, Shane Walsh and Billy Ryan - were all taken off.

"I have never seen a Kilkenny team in a final with so many agricultural hurlers, which begs the question of course, ‘how did they get so far?’

"The answer being that the standard in Leinster was brutal this year and they beat no-one of any substance along the way. Leinster counties have vehemently opposed the inclusion of Galway in their championships at underage level.

"Self interest being more important than the common good.  That came home to roost last Saturday afternoon."