The dates for the five rounds of the Kilkenny hurling leagues have been confirmed.
Clubs were seeking clarity about the games schedule so they could plan training, and at the first County Board meeting of the year on Monday night the programme of matches was outlined.
The five rounds of the senior, intermediate and junior leagues will be played on (weekends) April 7, April 21, May 21/22 (mid-week), September 1 and September 8.
Clubs won’t know the groupings until the hurling draws are made on Monday night, but at least now they can plot some sort of season in terms of training.
The competitions will be run as usual, with League and Shield finals at the end of the five preliminary rounds. Finishing places in the leagues will decide the championship draws.
Last year there was a 17-week break during the Summer in top end club activities because of the extended Leinster Round Robin and All-Ireland series.
Clubs were furious over the negative impact that all had on their games.
The round of matches in May is new this season. It is an attempt to placate clubs who faced unusually high bills for training and so on last season because of the drawn out, stop-go nature of things.
Meanwhile, Kilkenny manager, Brian Cody has confirmed that former All-Star defender, Padraig Walsh is back training after nursing a knee injury and he should be ready for action in a few weeks time.
Walsh probably won’t make the opening defence of the National League against Cork in Nowlan Park on Sunday week, but things are looking up for him.
The news concerning captain of last season, Cillian Buckley is not so good.
He had surgery recently to repair damage to a long term knee injury, but there is no time scale for any possible return.
“He won’t start the League. We have no idea when he will be back,” Cody insisted.
Former All-Star Ger Aylward is ready to go too after suffering a knock.
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