Cillian Buckley says the triple All-Ireland Club Hurling successes of Ballyhale Shamrocks, Tullaroan and Conahy Shamrocks has brought a "buzz" to Kilkenny hurling circles.

The Kilkenny hurler was speaking to RTÉ at the launch of the 2020 Allianz Hurling League.

While Tullaroan and Conahy won the Intermediate and Junior All-Ireland titles respectively, Ballyhale claimed the headline senior title on Sunday by beating Tipperary's Borris-ileigh.

"Once [Ballyhale] found a rhythm, they just kicked into gear and once they got ahead then, they really seemed to be in control," said Buckley.

"We know now that they have leaders right up the spine of the field and caught the game by the scruff of the neck and drove it home.

"There's fierce excitement up here yesterday and on Saturday with Conahy and Tullaroan and there was a fierce buzz around Kilkenny and everyone behind the three teams coming up here.

Cillian Buckley ahead of the 2019 All-Ireland final
Cillian Buckley ahead of the 2019 All-Ireland final

"To think that the three of them came out with silverware is no mean feat and it's just a serious achievement."

However, the Dicksboro club man's own thoughts are very much turned towards the start of the inter-county season. 

The Cats begin their league campaign Dublin on Sunday. He is under no illusion about the challenge this weekend's opponents will bring to the table.

"They're a physical team with Mattie Kenny behind them bringing that tactical approach to it as well," said Buckley.

"Obviously, they have a good crop of players now coming in from Cuala over the last few years and the main group that are there.

"I'm bracing for a big challenge this weekend and I think Dublin are intent on setting their mark on the Leinster Championship this year.

"They probably didn't feature as heavily as they were expected to the last year, so I think they're going to come with a ferocious challenge this weekend first of all and for the year ahead."