Winning All-Irelands is all that counts in Kilkenny and running eventual champions Limerick close in the 2018 quarter-final simply doesn’t cut it for the Cats.

To many observers, Brian Cody’s team are going through a period of transition following their golden period when they won 11 Liam MacCarthy Cups in 15 years.

Great players like Henry Shefflin, JJ Delaney and Tommy Walsh have all retired, so Kilkenny could be forgiven for being a bit off the pace for a few years at least.

But the players don’t see it that way – winning the All-Ireland is their sole ambition every year and their July quarter-final exit to Limerick was a bitter disappointment.

"From our own point of view it's obviously disappointing when you don't win the All-Ireland final," said Conor Fogarty, the holder of four Celtic Cross medals.

"After a very good League campaign, we were very disappointed not to push on further in the Championship. 

"We came up short against a very good Limerick team on the day. They obviously went on and won the All-Ireland final which shows us that we were close to the mark. 

"But, you know, huge disappointment not to win an All-Ireland. That's why you train all year, that's where you want to get to. You want to play All-Ireland finals and you want to be winning them. "

Fogarty is part of the Cats squad that is Down Under in Australia for the Wild Geese match with Galway in Sydney this weekend. Highlights of the game will be broadcast on RTÉ2 television on Sunday at 8pm.

Fogarty in action against Limerick

Kilkenny haven’t won an All-Ireland since 2015 and their last final appearance was 2016 when they lost to Tipperary.

They won the Allianz League earlier this year, beating Tipp convincingly in the decider, raising hopes that they would go deep into the season.

But they lost to Galway, then defending All-Ireland champions, after a replayed Leinster final and then exited the competition at the next hurdle against resurgent Limerick.

"You have one target every year and what other people out there think doesn't really concern us," said Fogarty, who works as a teacher in Callan CBS.

"We believe in our ability and that we're good enough to beat any team if we turn up on any given day. 

"We always back ourselves, that's the way it's always been in Kilkenny. This year was no different. 

"We have some great young lads coming through which are as good as what's out there. We've always backed ourselves, we've always given ourselves a chance. 

"It's just unfortunate that this year we fell just short," added the 28-year-old. 

Watch highlights of Galway v Kilkenny in the Wild Geese Trophy game on RTÉ2 at 8pm on Sunday 11 November