Kilkenny hurler TJ Reid says not having a league final to aim for this year “kills the excitement” and the purpose of playing the league.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks man was rested for their win over Laois at the weekend and Kilkenny now heads for Clare this weekend in their final group game.
He told scoreline that while they are taking it seriously, there’s no bigger picture with the league this year.
“It kind of kills the excitement or the purpose of playing the league, I know it’s different times and things are different, but other years there would be a league final and semi-final, so of course we take it seriously but when we’ve nothing to play for there’s nothing, there’s no bigger picture at stake,” said TJ.
“Obviously you’re going to try out new things and take a risk at things as well, but if there was a league semi-final or final in Thurles, usually the league final is in Thurles and there would be a bit of a build-up towards it, and it’s great preparation because the league final usually leaves you four to five weeks out from the championship so if you do get to a league final its good preparation”.
“You’re obviously playing a good team as well, the likes of Tipperary, the Limericks, or the Galways so playing those in the league final in Thurles with a crowd, it does give you a great incentive to go on then”.
“It is what it is unfortunately, we can’t do anything about it, but it’s unfortunate that there’s no league final because I know a lot of players would look forward to it”.
While TJ would prefer the normal format to be in place, he does say that last year’s format seen them go straight into the championship at a frenetic pace.
He said at least this year it’s great to have a league to try out players and experiment
“It builds momentum, builds a little bit of belief, a bit of confidence in the team,” said TJ.
“We’ve a good few young lads coming through the panel as well, Darragh Corcoran, it’s his first year in, he’s from Ballyhale he’s flying there at halfback, so these games do help us because last year we hadn’t the league basis to try out different things”.
“Last year you were straight into a knockout championship so you’re fairly much going 100 miles an hour so at least now with the league you can experiment a small bit and you can try out different things and new players as well”.
TJ was in the studio talking about the re-opening of gyms across the country as well, you can hear all that below.