Kilkenny will be part of this year’s All-Ireland junior football championship this year, the first outing for the competition since 2019 thanks to Covid cancellations.
While the county has had reasonable success in the British junior championship in recent years, it’s the old favourites of Kerry and Cork who share the majority of honours this century.
GAA Congress in 2021 saw a motion passed to change up the structure of the championship with Kilkenny the only Irish county represented, the others being New York along with the winner and runner up of the British Junior Championship.
When Kilkenny take to the field in Dublin this summer, they’ll have one very familiar face to hurling fans – Danesfort’s Paul Murphy.
The four-time All-Ireland winner with Kilkenny, who retired from inter-county hurling in January 2021, will be pulling on a county football jersey this season and is very much intending on making the final in Croke Park in July.
“We’re getting back going again, Christy Walsh is back over the team as he has been for the last good few years at this stage”, Murphy told Off The Ball’s The Hurling Pod this week.
“We played the senior football club championship, started it earlier this year, Christy got in contact and I’m more than happy to throw my lot in with the Kilkenny footballers.”
“We’re playing two matches this year – over a weekend we’re playing Warwickshire on the Friday night in Abbottstown and if we win that match we’ll be playing a New York team in the final in Croke Park on the Sunday. “
“To go by the phrase “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second-best time is now. You need lads to get the show back on the road, put the shoulder to the wheel and get things going. I’m happy to do that, I can do a service for the footballers and if you get a day out in Croke Park, brilliant.”
“Very few men can say they wore a Kilkenny football jersey in Croke Park.”
Kilkenny will face Warwickshire in Abbottstown, Dublin, on Friday 8 July with this year’s All-Ireland junior football championship final booked for Croke Park on Sunday 10 July.