THE league is a balancing act for hurling managers.
They must be mindful not to overcook some players, no matter how well they're hurling, and also need to share game-time around to develop the panel.
Cork boss Kieran Kingston and his management team have to take this into account as they select the line-up to face Tipp on Saturday night. With Kieran's son Shane in action for UCC as well as Cork, he knows the demands at this time of the year.
“We have to be mindful of the workload of some players at this time of the year, particularly those involved with UCC and other college teams in the Fitzgibbon Cup.
“We had players lining out with Cork last Sunday and with UCC on Wednesday night so we have to be careful on overuse."
Darragh Fitzgibbon, Robbie O'Flynn, Mark Coleman, Niall O'Leary and Robert Downey all featured for the College this week, who are managed by Kieran's brother Tom.
“We have a panel and players and they must get game time too, the league is about limited experimenting, you have to have that and give guys the opportunity to put their hand up."
Kingston admitted that he was disappointed to lose against Waterford last Sunday but he did take some positives from the day in Walsh Park.
“We expected the type of game we got from Waterford, their first game at home in the league and whilst we made errors, conceded too many frees and had too many wides, 17 I think, these things are fixable.
“What we want most of all from this league campaign is consistency of performance from game to game.
“People are critical of us because that might not be happening as much as we would want. We need to put in a performance in every game, both at individual level and as a group, get that level of consistency and see where that takes us.
“In this league too we want to see how players cope in pressurised situations. We did put up a good score last Sunday but we conceded too much too."
The Cork manager is hoping to put some recent losses behind him on Saturday night and get the team winning again.
“Firstly, we want to win every game that we play, we don’t want to be losing games. Tipp will be coming down on Saturday night having beaten us a few times last year and, hopefully, we can change that.
“Playing Tipp is always a huge game, it’s going to be tough after last Sunday and we expect another huge battle, you’d expect nothing less from Tipperary. That’s the nature of the league."
Kingston revealed that one of his players, Mark Ellis cannot be considered for a lengthy time because of injury.
“Yes, Mark has a stress fracture in his leg and will be missing for a couple of months. That’s very unfortunate for him but on the plus side Christopher Joyce is back in with us and ready to go after two cruciate operations.’’