Between the National League, Leinster Championship and All-Ireland's won, Kilkenny's 6-point defeat of Tipperary on Sunday marked Brian Cody's 35th tournament success.
Since 'falling into' the role of Kilkenny's inter-county hurling manager in 1998, the James Stephens' man has overseen a phenomenal period of success.
Introducing, developing and seeing off some of the finest hurlers the game has seen, Sunday's National League success put rest to the assumption that Kilkenny were a diminished force in this year's forthcoming championship.
Speaking to Radio Kerry in the wake of that latest win, Cody stressed that an unbending intention to keep looking forward, toward the next challenge, ensured that competitiveness (if not success, necessarily) would always be a feature of Kilkenny's game:
I'm not even remotely concerned about legacy or anything like that. If I wanted to safeguard a legacy I could have disappeared ... after we'd had a couple of good runs, but I'm doing this because I enjoy doing this.
Discussing how he maintained a hold over his panel of players year on year, Cody likened the experience of coaching to that of teaching; catering the necessary message to the needs of the player.
From his personal experience, the desired effect of ranting and raving can occasionally be achieved with "a word in a fella's ear."
However, Cody remains suspect of certain coaching contemporaries who appear far too keen to demonstrate their own importance:
I often think people talk various ways about coaching, and, you know, its often seen that coaching is something where you have to set up a drill for with cones and ... make it look very elabourate - I don't think its necessary always to do things like that.
I think sometimes maybe, coaches are maybe maintaining the level of their own importance ... going to all sorts of lengths to show how much they know themselves.
Insisting that such coaches may do better if they were to "trust the players a little bit more," the apparent simplicity with which he has guided one county to such astonishing heights remains as confounding an issue as ever.
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