CORK hurling boss Kieran Kingston believes the Munster SHL which concludes tomorrow night with the final against Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds has been beneficial for his players.
“It has, both for the players involved and ourselves as a new management.
"It has given us an opportunity to get familiar with each other and to start putting in place a strategy on how we will play.
“It has given game time to a number of players who were not involved before, players from last season’s under-20 team and the under-21 team from the previous season.’’
Kingston believes that the pre-season competition provides a platform to build on for the national league which begins a fortnight later.
“Yes indeed, the league is almost upon us and we have three tough games away and just the two at home to Tipperary and Limerick.
“We have a considerable amount of players involved with the college teams in the Fitzgibbon Cup, 21 in total between UCC, Cork IT, WIT and Mary I.
“They are going to be involved in that and some players could face six games in four weeks.
“We haven’t got a panel as such at the moment, we call it a training group and we will need all the players because of other commitments and players who are ruled out at the moment through injury.
Among those marked absent at the moment are Chris Joyce, Alan Cadogan, Mikey Cahalane, Mark Ellis and Stephen McDonnell but Kingston told the Echo that all are making good progress.
“They are and it’s down to weeks now before they’ll be back.
“We have Colm Spillane back with us and he played his first game on Tuesday night since the 2018 county final with Imokilly.
“He played for half the game against UCC and we will get more game time into him tonight against Limerick.
“Obviously, having him back with us is a great boost for everyone.’’
On the game tomorrow night at the Gaelic Grounds, Kingston is expecting a difficult encounter.
“It will be, they had good wins over Tipperary and Clare and no matter what the status of the game, you get nothing easy in the Gaelic Grounds.
“It’s an important game for us in so far as it gives more exposure to our younger players and keeps them involved.
“We’ll focus on ourselves tonight and see where it takes us.’’