With his first league campaign as Laois senior hurling manager just days away, Teddy McCarthy admitted that the game with Offaly was all he could think about as the new season gets set for takeoff.
Laois are heading into a tough, competitive league this Sunday, but the Cork man was quick to point out that he wasn’t looking past Offaly as he plots the way forward for Laois. “The only game I’m interested in is against Offaly” confessed the manager. “You can’t have dreams unless you take things one game at a time, and we will get that competitive nature into our play.
“It is a very competitive league and whoever wins it, it is going to stand to them for the championship in May. All six teams want to be in the final, and we want to win every game that we play.
“It is important to get off to a winning start, for your own sense of achievement and it would set us up nicely.”
As he looks ahead to the game with Offaly, he pointed out that our neighbours will be in a similar position to Laois. “Offaly are in the same situation as us, they have a new management team and all the players will want to be putting their hands up to get a place in their team.”
So far, he has had a good response from the Laois players, and wins over Dublin IT and Dublin in the Walsh Cup were a timely boost early in the season. The manager is happy with that, but he wants to see his players being consistently competitive from start to finish in the upcoming league campaign. “I am very happy with the way things are going.
“We’ll get nothing easy in the league, and whether we win, lose or draw I want to be competitive in every game, and if we are then we will know where we stand.”
McCarthy also confirmed that despite cutting the panel down to 32 (see page 87), that it will remain open throughout the league for any players who start to show form in either the Palmer Cup of ACHL Division 1, when they get underway in March.