Jackie Tyrrell thinks that stopping Tipperary's Noel McGrath will be one of the keys to a Kilkenny All-Ireland final win on Sunday.
McGrath has been his brilliant best all season long for the Premier County and he has flourished since his move to midfield, scoring from distance and arrowing accurate balls into his forwards.
Kilkenny legend Tyrrell sees Cats midfielder Conor Browne taking on the Tipp danger-man in the centre of the field and he rates this as one of the key battles in this weekend’s Liam MacCarthy Cup decider.
Speaking about McGrath, he said: "The quality of distribution he gives into the full-forward line; there’s no point in having loads of space and maybe Séamus Callanan and John McGrath inside and lumping high ball in on top of them because Huw Lawlor is great under a dropping ball and by the time it gets in there Pádraig Walsh is going to be back to help hoover it up.
"They need quick ball delivered in like they did in 2016 and Noel McGrath is key in that.
"Conor Browne has been detailed on Darragh Fitzgibbon against Cork, Cian Lynch against Limerick, and he limited their influence and I fully expect him to take up Noel McGrath on Sunday with the instructions 'get in his face, turn him over, put pressure on him, don’t let him plant his foot and hit quality ball in’."
Tyrrell, speaking on the latest episode of the RTÉ GAA Podcast, knows that Kilkenny have a number of All-Ireland first-timers in their squad, which is unusual in the Brian Cody era.
It's three years since they played on hurling’s biggest days and four since they actually won it. But he expects the likes of TJ Ried, Richie Hogan and Paul Murphy to guide youngsters such as Huw Lawlor and Adrian Mullen through the build-up and the game.
"If you look at that Kilkenny team you still have Eoin Murphy, Paul Murphy, Conor Fogarty, TJ Reid, Richie Hogan, Walter Walsh – some of those lads have five and six All-Ireland medals," he explained.
"There’s huge experience to tap into, though I understand that the new guys are there and they have a lot of rookies who would be less experienced than Tipperary, who have been down this road before.
"It’s about managing those new guys this week – TJ talking to Adrian Mullen this week, Eoin Murphy talking to Huw Lawlor in front of him and guiding them through the week. It’s different, you run out earlier, you meet the President, there’s tickets.
"But it’s the Kilkenny way – there’ll be no hullaballo and certain lads will have a word. It’s about having laser focus on 3.30pm on Sunday and that when the ball is thrown in you’re bringing war."
Follow the All-Ireland hurling final between Kilkenny and Tipperary (Sunday 3.30pm) via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie and the News Now app, watch live on RTÉ2 or listen to radio commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.