They couldn’t have been given a tougher task, but Kilkenny must get something from the lion’s den if their Oscar Traynor campaign is to start on the right foot.
Ollie Walsh’s side begin their 2014/15 campaign by taking on Wexford in Bunclody this Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm). The game will be a challenge, but in a tight group Walsh knows his side must provide a platform for their future games.
“This is a seriously tough group,” he said. “Wexford have regularly reached the quarter and semi-final stages and must be seen as a contender for the title.
“On top of that Waterford have a very strong team while Carlow gave us trouble last year. Playing Wexford away will be hard but we need to get something from our opening game to get off to a good start.
“Having two home games after that will be a help,” he added, “but we’re not looking beyond the first match. We need to make a good start.”
Wexford, who have been boosted by the return of players from Wexford Youths, have had some good results against the Cats in recent years. Walsh has selected a squad of 17 players for Saturday, but will have others available for future games. This includes Robert Skehan (injured), while Ben Ryan and Daragh Walshe may also feature later on.
Squad: Michael Lambert (Freebooters), Robbie Lynch (Deen Celtic), Jack Poyntz (Freebooters), Dylan Whearty (Evergreen), Tommy Earls (Evergreen), C.J. Browne (Thomastown United), Liam Hickey (Freshford Town), Barry Whelan (Thomastown United), Andy Kavanagh (Thomastown United), Michael O’Neill (Thomastown United), Conor English (Evergreen), Aaron Molloy (Freebooters), David Grincell (Evergreen), Nathan West (Bridge United), Eoin Vaughan (Freshford Town), Emmet Nugent (Fort Rangers), Chris Whearty (Evergreen).
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