The post-match thoughts of Kilkenny boss Derek Lyng after Kilkenny defeated Cork 2-22 to 0-22 to reach the League final against Limerick.
Derek Lyng is delighted with the depth that has developed within his Kilkenny panel in year one.
The new Cats boss has had to deal with a number of departures since taking over from Brian Cody, but his county are back in a league final nonetheless.
Adrian Mullen, his brother Paddy, and TJ Reid were out on the Nowlan Park turf pucking away ahead of the NHL semi-final win over Cork on Sunday, while Richie Hogan’s return bolstered their options further.
“They have been working really hard away from it, if you like,” says Lyng of the Ballyhale Shamrocks trio.
“They’re getting closer to being ready for action now so we’ll see how they are in the next couple of weeks.
“A lot of lads put their hands up today and that’s what we asked of them. You have to grab the jersey while you have it.”
The league final pits Kilkenny against the team that beat them in last year’s All-Ireland final, Limerick, and the Cats boss understands the size of the challenge after the Treaty swatted Tipperary aside on Saturday evening.
“For sure, they are a phenomenal team and it’s a great opportunity for our panel.
“A lot of them are young players, and to test themselves against a team like that you can only learn from. We’re looking forward to it.”
Billy Drennan will be lining out both with the Under-20s and the seniors this season, and Lyng will take time to decide on how he will juggle the youngster between the age grades.
“He’s obviously a part of the senior set-up, as are Timmy (Clifford) and Gearóid (Dunne) as well, and they’ve been playing important roles.
“Obviously, we’ll have to balance it out and see what way the fixtures go in terms of the U20 championship as well, so we’ll have to look at that.”
“Today was another big test for him and a lot of those players, like Gearóid had a really positive impact when he came on, Timmy as well,” Lyng adds. “They’re all working hard.
“Like I said, they’ve had a decent few outings but the tests are going to get bigger and we know that.
“But all they can do in terms of their work-rate and their attitude, they’re doing that and we’ll see how it goes.”