Champs on parade for The Village opening

There will be a champion opening to mark the official blessing of James Stephens new grounds on the Kells Road on Sunday (6.30pm).

There will be a champion opening to mark the official blessing of James Stephens new grounds on the Kells Road on Sunday (6.30pm).

All-Ireland champions, Clare and National League champions, Kilkenny will provide what is sure to be intriguing fare in probably the last challenge match both will play before going into action in the championship.

Davy Fitzgerald’s Clare team may not be engaged until June 15 when they face the winners from the Cork/Waterford tie, but Kilkenny are in action against Offaly in Nowlan Park on June 7.

By the time Brian Cody’s men face the MacCarthy Cup holders, the third round action in the local league will be completed, and Sunday’s gathering will be the first get together of the squad before the Leinster campaign.

The up to date situation on injuries should be clear then, so everyone involved with the panel will know where they stand.

GAA President, Liam O’Neill, will perform the official opening of the €1.2 million development on the Kells Road, which will be followed by the blessing of the grounds and dressing room complex by Fr Dan Carroll PP, St Patrick’s.

The 37 acres site was bought for €2.2 million at aution in 2007. Since, four sand based Croke Park size pitches, dressing room complex (€400,000), warm up pitch and 1.2 kilometre walking track have been developed, along with other amenities.

Local senior league ties have been fixed for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.