'Very open' Leinster Championship expected
By Cian O'Connell
Kilkenny selector DJ Carey believes a 'very open' Leinster Senior Hurling Championship is edging closer.
Wexford triumphed last year, while Kilkenny, Galway, and Dublin have also collected provincial silverware in the past decade.
“It’s open," Carey admits. "Kilkenny were dominant, but there were a lot of good games through the years when Kilkenny were dominant.
“Wexford weren’t strong a number of years ago. Offaly obviously went and they were strong in the past. Dublin are a coming team.
“I think any one of those can win it. It is open. Wexford are very strong. Wexford would have serious ambitions this year. Obviously Dublin are an excellent team. When they get it right they will be a force to be reckoned with. And who knows (it) could be this year.
“Galway and Kilkenny will be there or thereabouts I’m sure as well. “So it’s very open. I think it’s open every year. Whereas I think back when Kilkenny were very dominant, when they were strong they were much stronger than anybody else. That’s not the case now, it’s definitely not the case. Anyone one of these - Dublin, Laois, ourselves, Wexford or Galway - on any given day they can take each other."
The fact that the majority of matches will be played in the winter is a factor according to Carey.
"Yeah, well again we will be in the winter, we played a game on Sunday and it was absolutely miserable, miserable the whole way through and so yes, it's going to be different and an awful lot different," Carey replies.
"The only thing I'd say is that back in my day, you played in an awful lot of muck and dirt....not dirt, but pitches weren't great in October and November.
"I would say that the pitches themselves, I don't know what the situation will be with Croke Park if there's no crowds in there, but the likes of Portlaoise, Tullamore, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford Park and I'm only talking about Leinster at the moment, but all these pitches are in great shape.
"They'll be still in great shape in November and December, so from that point of view it will be good. You'll be looking at wind and rain, that's going to be much different, you're going to be looking at a wet ball, you're going to be looking at completely different hurling.
"Whether the style will be different or not, I'm not sure, but certainly I don't think you'll be having 50-odd scores in games going forward."