So as we all get acquainted with 2015 and welcome the start of another inter-county hurling season, it only seems right that I pick the three things that I’m excited for championship 2015!
1. Will the Banner rise again?
Davy Fitzgerald and his young guns will be wanting to put the nightmarish season of 2014, where they failed to win a single championship match. behind them. While I’m sure the 3 in a row under 21 titles took the sting out of it a bit, Tony Kelly and co. will not be happy with just one senior medal. A natural progression now for Clare would be to replicate their underage dominance at senior level. It seems Clare are destined to be the ones to inherit Kilkenny’s title as the main hurling powerhouse, but in order to ensure that, they will have to a) make major strides in Munster and b) win the All Ireland very soon.
2. Has the well run dry for the Cats?
Kilkenny have always prided themselves on having one of the best underage structures in the country. A steady stream of talent ready to be used when needs be. However with the recent spate of retirements, it seems that conveyor belt will have to work double time. While Kilkenny will always have good hurlers, it remains to be seen whether the current young lads will be able for the demands of senior inter county hurling. All that said, the challenge of Cody this year is possibly the greatest he has ever faced. He will have to find a new full back, a new centre back and a couple of exciting forwards to keep Kilkenny dining at the top table.
3. Two referees please!
I think it’s time, don’t you? The last two years, we have seen the decisions of the man in the middle being the deciding factor in big matches. It’s wrong. The teams on the field decide the outcome. The referee needs to be irrelevant. The pressure of a inter county referee these day is huge, not just from the spectators in the stand, but from people assessing his performance. This is where the two referees comes in, Throughout the course of a match, lots of clear fouls go unnoticed by referees because they can’t be everywhere at once. Another referee would be a great aid and would be in a position to make fairer and better choices. Advantage to both teams, not one.