The shorter than usual wait for the beginning of the championship is almost over for Carlow club hurlers with the first round fixtures due to begin on June 17.
One of the favourites to bring Mount Leinster Rangers’ recent dominance to an end in the senior category is Ballinkillen.
The 2019 county finalists failed to maintain their strong form in recent years in the 2021 edition of the Carlow Senior Hurling Championship as they bowed out earlier than expected.
That hasn’t stopped club stalwart David English from setting lofty goals for the team when he outlined his side’s championship hopes at the championship launch in Netwatch Cullen Park on Wednesday night.
From not looking beyond their first round clash with Myshall to working under Kilkenny legend Eoin Larkin, English had a lot to say about Ballinkillen’s aspirations for the year.
He began: “In comparison to previous years it’s happening a bit earlier. We’re getting the best of the summer weather and the pitches will be in really good condition. We’re all really looking forward to it at this stage and we’re excited to start now.
“We’re getting the prime conditions of summer. The pitches are hard which means the ball should be fizzing around the place.
“Starting that bit earlier puts everyone in a better humour as well. Rather than getting going in August or September, the ball is getting throw in in June which is brilliant as a player.
English continued: “Preparations for the championship have been going quite well. Like any other team we pick up the odd injury here and there but we’re happy with where we are at.
“We didn’t perform well in the Bolger Cup but we improved in the Kilkenny League. We need to make the best of training now that we have as close to a full panel as we are going to have.
“Our goal for the year is to try and win a county championship. We were disappointed with last year.
“We have to concentrate on Myshall first up. It has been a great experience working with Eoin Larkin. We’ve learned a lot about the mentality of that great Kilkenny team of the 2000s and when he talks everyone listens. He’s only focusing on Myshall and so are we.”