Saturday, June 15, 2024

Cody tells Ringtown: Spirit and togetherness the key to success

There’s a certain company that don’t do hurling presentation evenings, but if they did, this would probably be the best. Ringtown Hurling Club celebrated its 2015 under 14 and under 16 victories at its impressive clubhouse last Saturday evening, with Kilkenny senior hurling manager, Brian Cody, and his Westmeath counterpart, Michael Ryan, the special guests.

Ringtown’s Adrian Moran, who was Underage Chairman during last year’s historic victories, spoke proudly of the club’s work in getting more players involved in hurling some years ago, increasing the number of young players from nine to 32. It reaped its reward and two cups sat proudly in the Ringtown hall to underline that fact, while the young stars of the future took centre stage.
Cody’s presence was huge also and he spoke to the young people and the packed hall about the importance of team spirit, pride and togetherness – essential ingredients going forward.
“Look for constant improvement. Coaches, everybody involved, make a real push, a real drive to get to the next level. Have a real spirit. There’s no magic involved in this. You practise, you work, you outwork your opponents all the time. If your opponent is outworking, you can’t win the game. Any team that wants to win must do that,” he remarked.
Simple advice from a true legend of the game, the greatest hurling manager of all time. His passion for club hurling was also very evident on the evening.
“What I am is a club man more than anything. You talk about being simple and that’s what has sustained me, essentially, as a hurling man,” he said.
“My allegiance is to my club, James Stephens. I’m privileged and proud to be the manager of the Kilkenny senior hurling team, of course, and I wouldn’t suggest in any way that it’s not massively important. But I’m also a selector in my club and that’s huge,” he added.
He spoke of the real sense of togetherness he felt in the hall.
“I’m honoured to be here and I’m always honoured to be able to see what’s happening in clubs throughout the country. I see a community; I see the people of the area. To me that’s what the GAA is about. The club is the community, the community is the club,” he remarked.
He noted that Ringtown club has something special in their impressive facilities, but stressed it’s the people behind the club that is everything.
“You can sense the community spirit and the importance of hurling in this area. It’s terrific to hear the story about the nine underage players becoming 32 and it didn’t happen without tremendous commitment from so many people,” said Cody.
“It’s amazing what can be achieved when people work together. People always ask, what’s the secret, and I always say the biggest reason why we have been successful in Kilkenny and the thing we place the most emphasis on is, without a shadow of a doubt, spirit. Togetherness. We’re all in this thing together. The most important thing in any team, group or business is the team spirit. We talk about the whole group, everyone together. Every single person here has a role to play in the development of Ringtown hurling club. I’m certain of that; I’ve see it happen with ourselves at home,” he added.
He spoke of all the different strands of the club and said there is no better way for a community to exist than to be involved in a club.
“What you have here is something magical, something wonderful,” he said.

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