Kildare Hurling Manager-David Herity
It may still only be 2019 but the Kildare Hurlers will open their Kehoe Cup campaign away to Offaly in Birr on Saturday afternoon.
The match was originally fixed for Sunday but newly appointed Offaly manager Michael Fennelly is involved with his club Ballyhale Shamrocks in the Leinster Club Final on that day so the tie is pushed forward 24 hours.
The Kildare players have been back in training the last few weeks as David Herity oversees his second year in charge of the side.
Like last year the Kilkenny native will have Declan O’Tolole and Ronan McWilliams by his side but he also welcomes former player Paul Dermody into the fold and he will bring huge experience and knowledge to the setup.
It will be interesting to see what team takes to the field with Naas having the majority on the panel and only finishing their Leinster Championship two weeks ago but what is clear is that the manager is a lot happier with his panel of players than he was this time last year.
It will be the first competitive collision between Kildare and Offaly in a number of years after a barren few seasons in the faithful county saw them relegated from both the Liam McCarthy and Joe McDonagh Cup competitions.
As a result Offaly will be in the Christy Ring Cup this year and with such a high profile manager there is bound to be a lot of media attention around them and ironically Fennelly held a role with the Kildare Footballers last year.
After this weekend Kildare will take on Down at home on Sunday week in their other group game and while it’s nice to win it will be all about performance for Herity and Co as they get ready for a Division 2B National League campaign in the new year.
Saturday: Kehoe Cup Round 1- Kildare v Offaly in St.Brendan’s Park Birr at 2.00