Walter Walsh believes Kilkenny's League final victory over Tipperary will convince their youthful panel that they can follow in the footsteps of the great names to wear the black and amber.

The Cats made their earliest Championship exit in 22 years last summer and when they lost the opening two games of the Allianz League campaign it was felt that the end of Brian Cody's era of dominance could be nigh.

But a new-look team featuring the likes of Paddy Deegan, Richie Leahy and Martin Keoghan haven't been beaten since, and are surely among the Championship contenders after a dominant second-half display swept old rivals Tipp aside in Nowlan Park.

"It's really significant," Walsh told RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport. "We're a lot younger this time than the last time we won (in 2014).

"It's massive for the younger lads and gives us confidence going towards the Championship.

"In the early stages of the league, we lost our opening two games and maybe some of the younger lads were starting to question themselves, (wondering) are they good enough, and being compared to the likes of Henry Shefflin, JJ Delaney and Tommy Walsh, great players that have gone before.

"But in the Cork and Clare games, there was nothing in it, only the puck of a ball. We knew we weren't as bad as people were staying and we just took it game by game.

"These lads are well able to hurl and hopefully they have the confidence now and we'll push on."

Towering forward Walsh scored a goal 30 seconds after the restart to kickstart Kilkenny's drive to the title and added another two points from play before the finish.

"I didn't do a whole lot in the first half, I knew I had to do something special or I could have been getting the curly finger!" he joked.

"It was a great ball in by Conor Delaney. I caught it and I had one thing on my mind, heading for goal.

"The space really opened up and I tried to get in as close as I could so I could bury it."