One of the highlights for any Kilkenny hurling fan, regardless of the time of year, is a day out against Tipperary and it’s upon us this weekend as Liam Cahill’s side provides the test for Derek Lyng’s first senior home game in charge of Kilkenny.
While both managers are new to their current setups, Sunday will provide a great test for where both counties are and where ambitions lie for the season ahead.
However, speaking at yesterday’s league launch in Kilkenny, Cats boss Derek Lyng says they won’t be getting too far ahead of themselves at this stage of the season.
“We are not looking too far ahead, the games are coming thick and fast. We have Tipperary this week, and the following week we have them again in the fundraiser for the Dillion Quirke foundation the following week we have Laois. “
“Look it is brilliant, we have a big squad, we want to look at players and we will do. Ultimately the aim is the have a competitive squad at the end of it all.”
“For the league, we want to be competitive in every game. At the same time, we won’t be taking chances on players with little niggles. We will try to mix it up all the time. We want to win. The championship is obviously the priority. Come to the league, the ambition is to get to the knockout stages. If we get there, we get there, if not, focus changes pretty quickly”
Lyng’s side has been a mix of old and new. Players like Billy Drennan impressing with 1-8 in his debut National Hurling League game against Antrim, bolstered by mainstays such as Paddy Deegan and Walter Walsh. Lyng believes the older players are crucial in helping the younger generation establish themselves in the squad.
“We are fortunate we have a good number of experienced players in the squad. They are top class, the way they have approached the year.”
“Younger players feed off that, it is really important we have that in the dressing room. They lead by example and they set the tone in training. I’m delighted with how the younger and older players have come together as a group.”
You can get full coverage of that game on air here this Sunday with thanks to Laharts Volkswagen and Skoda in Kilkenny.