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New Cats primed to flourish


Brian Cody

Brian Cody

Brian Cody

MICHAEL FENNELLY has tipped Kilkenny's new generation to "make their own names", after the recent spate of retirements, featuring some of the county's most legendary hurlers.

Whilst acknowledges that, of the recently retired, only JJ Delaney was a starter come last year's All-Ireland final replay win over Tipperary, Fennelly admitted: "In the dressing room, at training in the last week or two it's different because the likes of Brian Hogan, JJ, Henry, such big names, big influences on the pitch, they will be massively missed during the year.

"As everyone says life goes on time goes on. There are other players there that maybe won't fill their boots but they can make their own name in those positions."

Indeed, Cody could - injuries and form aside - field 14 of last year's All-Ireland final winning team against Wexford in their Leinster SHC opener on Sunday, though both Fennelly and Richie Power (knee) are doubtful.

The likes of Pádraig Walsh and last year's final replay Man of the Match, Kieran Joyce, are tipped to take up the slack left by the retiring Delaney, Henry Shefflin, Tommy Walsh, Brian Hogan, David Herity and Aidan 'Taggy' Fogarty and Fennelly pointed out: "They are all mid-twenties now and that's the age when you see lads stepping up. There are different lads doing it, which is the good thing, you are not looking to one lad to do it.

"Again, the next day it could be someone else. That's the beauty of Kilkenny - we want to win."