KILKENNY team manager Brian Cody has been very impressed with the performance of Cork in this year’s NHL - the only team to lower Kilkenny’s colours in the competitive year so far.
“Cork are young and hungry. They have been very impressive in their matches. They were better than us when we clashed in Cork. They looked very, very impressive against Tipperary in the semi-final too. They have to be happy with the campaign up to this. Certainly, like ourselves, they will be absolutely committed to trying to win the match on Sunday,” he said.
“It is great to be involved in this level of competition so close to the championship, which is just down the road. To have a League final as preparation, you simply couldn’t ask for better. This is what the players want, big games as often as possible,” he added.
“At the start of the League we made no secret of the fact that we would like to win the League. Obviously you couldn’t win it without getting to the final. We are there now. It is between ourselves and Cork. It has been a few years since we met in a really big game like this, so it is nice to be looking forward to the final.
“We got to the final and all our performances were decent. In some matches we were very good. In others we weren’t that good but overall we got a good chance to test the panel. The League experience has been positive as far as we are concerned.
“Last year we were badly beaten in the League final by Dublin. It didn’t affect us too much afterwars. It is not a question of how the outcome might affect us during the rest of the year. This is a League final. We want to be as competitive as we can be. We want to win the title if we can.
“It is a final and both counties are going to be giving 100% to win. After that, whatever happens, we will go on and tackle the championship. This is one 70 minutes, one game with a national title at stake. We want to win it.”
Cork named their team on Thursday, and have started three newcomers from their fifteen which began the s3even point victory over Tipperary. All-Star goalkeeper Donal Og Cusack is a long term injury.