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Tommy Walsh Explains Why Past Month Has Been Vital For Kilkenny

Tommy Walsh Explains Why Past Month Has Been Vital For Kilkenny

Tommy Walsh believes that the past month will have been hugely important for the Kilkenny hurlers.

Brian Cody's side have played two games in this year's Leinster Championship, beating Dublin in the opening round and then Carlow a week later.

That second game was played three weeks ago, giving Kilkenny ample time to further gel as a team.

The biggest game of their season so far comes on Sunday against Galway at Nowlan Park.

"Definitely, with the likes of Adrian Mullen coming in, he has to learn, it's a different game from club level," said nine-time All-Ireland winner Walsh at the announcement of Chadwicks' partnership with Leinster GAA.

The last month will be fierce important for Kilkenny with getting to know each other's styles.

It's so much more different now than it was five or ten years ago. It wasn't as difficult to come into a team because you knew if a back got the ball, he was just going to drive it forward and you had to be able to win it. That was just the way it was - there wasn't too much thinking going on.

Now, when you have a half-back with the ball, you have to be thinking, 'Does he usually run with the ball? Does he drive it? Does he play it short?'

The most important thing is learning to play the ball through the lines because that's definitely a part that most teams need now. You don't just lump it forward, you might have to play it backwards.

It wouldn't normally have been seen as a part of the Kilkenny style but they’re definitely getting that bit better and as we saw against Dublin, they would have had to play it around, across the field, hitting it backwards. If that had happened two years ago, the crowd would be getting on their back, nowadays they don't have to because they know you have to play it that way.

A victory for Kilkenny against Galway would seal a spot in the Leinster final.

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"We haven't been All-Ireland champions since 2015; we were Leinster champions in 2016," said Walsh.

"You'd take anything! A Walsh Cup, a league, anything! As a supporter - and that's what I am now - I'd love to see Kilkenny in a Leinster final. I'd love to see someone going up lifting the Bob O'Keeffe Cup. As they say, what's seldom is wonderful and we haven't been there in quite a bit.

"The hunger is massively back for winning a Leinster title. We were winning it so often that you can take it for granted.

"You'd love to see Kilkenny winning it because it would be another confidence booster for this young team - 'We can do it on the biggest stage against the best in Croke Park'."

Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Chadwicks this week launched the Chadwicks Kit-Out competition to celebrate the sponsorship, offering clubs in Leinster the chance to win over €20,000 worth of product to improve their clubhouse facilities. To enter go to chadwicks.ie

PJ Browne
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