Laois minor hurling manager Seamas Plunkett has said his side are ready for battle this weekend, as they take on Kilkenny in round two of the Leinster MHC.
Buoyed by their victory over Westmeath in the opening round, they now face the tough challenge of a date with a strong Kilkenny outfit. While the task at hand is going to be difficult, Plunkett has every faith in his squad. “We are up against Kilkenny and we are really looking forward to that game, and challenging ourselves against one of the hurling strongholds.
“I know it’s an old cliche we are just taking it one game at a time. We have picked up a few injuries in the last week, mainly to MJ Dunphy and Joe Campion, which might sideline them for a few weeks.
“We will not be using injuries as crutches on Saturday – anyone who has trained with this team has the potential to slot in there and take their chance at nailing down a place on the team, and where better to make a statement of intent than against Kilkenny. These players will relish this challenge.”
The victory over Westmeath, who had beaten Laois in their two previous championship meetings at this grade, came at a time when Laois hurling needed a boost, and Plunkett feels the long-term future for this group is positive. “Whatever about our immediate prospects, I do believe the future is bright for Laois hurling because of the hunger and desire for success in these young players.
“The hunger to win is the be-all and the end-all for all of them and that can be seen every night at training. The foundation of our set-up is togetherness and a Laois spirit and it’s that Laois spirit that will drive things on. I really believe everything emanates from that , when you have that honesty and genuineness you get fighting performances like we got last Saturday. There are probably a further two or three players in the county with the potential to challenge for a place on the current panel.”
Plunkett also hopes that Laois supporters will come out in numbers to cheer on his team, as the connection between hurling supporters and county teams has dwindled in recent years. “We need to get that back in order to get back the connection between Laois hurlers and Laois hurling supporters.
“Then to play and win for your county and to have the honour of wearing your countys jersey will mean something again.”
Throw in this Saturday night is 7pm in O’Moore Park.