Manager Brian Cody has named his first starting line-up of the 2022 Allianz NHL with several players set to make their Kilkenny debuts in Sunday’s 1st round tie with Antrim at UPMC Nowlan Park.
O’Loughlin Gales’ Mikey Butler, Bennettsbridge clubman David Blanchfield and Conahy Shamrocks’ Tom Phelan have all been given the opportunity to stake their claim for the 2022 season as last year’s joint-league champions begin their campaign.
Goalkeeper Darren Brennan starts ahead of Eoin Murphy and there are a number of positional changes for the Cats also, with Conor Delaney getting the nod at full-back while Huw Lawlor is moved to centre-back.
Butler and Tommy Walsh make up the full-back line while Blanchfield and James Maher are the starting wing-backs.
Mikey Carey and Paddy Deegan are named at midfield with Padraig Walsh continuing at centre-forward following his impressive display against Wexford in the Walsh Cup.
Phelan and John Donnelly make up the rest of the half-forward line with James Bergin and Billy Ryan either side of Martin Keoghan in an energetic full-forward line.
Kilkenny team to face Antrim in the 1st round of the Allianz NHL Division 1 (Throw-in 1pm, UPMC Nowlan Park):