Kilkenny’s Richie Hogan is pleased that the side will have another competitive outing before they begin their Championship campaign.
Minus the presence of their manager Brian Cody on the sideline, the black and amber comfortably made it through to another Allianz HL Division 1 final after seeing off Galway at Semple Stadium.
Hogan is now relishing the opportunity of playing in another decider and the benefits of a tussle with an in-form Tipperary side in Nowlan Park on 5 May.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Hogan explained: "It was a great victory against Galway – considering the recent matches between the sides.
"We are just delighted to be in another league final - and to get as many matches as we can now is important considering that our championship campaign starts a bit earlier this year."
"Even though we are without some key players at the moment, the league has shown that we have depth in the squad. The competition for places is there and this can only help to improve the performance of the team."
"We didn’t really think about Brian’s absence. We concentrated on the game – in fairness we do that every day" - Richie Hogan
Brian Cody’s presence on the sideline has served Kilkenny well for over 14 seasons, and while he was absent from Semple Stadium, Hogan was adamant that players had to do the talking once they stepped out on to the pitch.
He said: "We didn’t really think about Brian’s absence. We concentrated on the game – in fairness we do that every day. Worrying about people who are not there – whether it’s players or management, should not detract us from the task in hand."