County-by-county: Kerry’s young guns look to build on league win
Munster: Tipperary hoping for another good campaign with Cork still vulnerable
Jack Barry is among the Kerry young guns who inspired the Kingdom to league final victory. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Manager: Colm Collins (4th season)
Odds: All-Ireland 250/1; Munster 33/1
Next up: v Limerick, Cusack Park, May 27th
Quietly underrated, given they stayed in Division Two despite not always having the services of Gary Brennan at their disposal. The only team in the country to score a goal in every league game too, which is a fair boast. Bound to run into a Kerry brick wall but could well creep through the qualifiers again. Last-12 possibilities.
Manager: Peadar Healy (2nd season)
Odds: All-Ireland 33/1; Munster 4/1
Next up: v Waterford, Dungarvan, May 27th
You have to go back to 2013 for the last time they beat anyone from the top two divisions in the championship. Clare, Longford, Limerick, Tipperary and Sligo – these are the teams Cork win against now. Too many draws meant they didn’t threaten promotion back to Division One and they must be considered highly vulnerable against Tipperary on June 10th.
Manager: Eamonn Fitzmaurice (5th season)
Odds: All-Ireland 11/4; Munster 1/4
Next up: v Clare/Limerick, Cusack Park/Fitzgerald Stadium, June 10th
Eamonn Fitzmaurice has warded off some of the shriller Kingdom voices by winning the league and turning over his playing staff in the process. Tadhg Morley has grown into a tigerish presence at centre-back and the introduction of Jack Barry has allowed David Moran to take charge around the middle. Not as much money in the bank up front as in other years, which could leave them short come September.
Manager: Billy Lee (1st season)
Odds: All-Ireland 2,000/1; Munster 250/1
Next up: v Clare, Cusack Park, May 27th
Going nowhere. Huge turnover of players means half of the panel of 20 who played against Clare in last year’s championship are gone for this year’s fixture. Three first-teamers left after the league, although Ian Ryan’s return is a much needed boost. A short summer awaits.
Manager: Liam Kearns (2nd season)
Odds: All-Ireland 66/1; Munster 9/1
Next up: v Cork/Waterford, Páirc Uí Rinn/Semple Stadium, June 10th
Must have Cork squarely in their sights and ultimately a Munster title on their minds. This is the year to go for it – Cork won’t be down forever. A return for Peter Acheson looks not to be on the cards but Liam Casey has stepped in to good effect and with Conor Sweeney and Michael Quinlivan in harness, they have a chance. Quarter-finals a must.
Manager: Tom McGlinchey (3rd season)
Odds: All-Ireland 5,000/1; Munster 500/1
Next up: v Cork, Dungarvan, May 27th
You’d have to feel for them more than ever these days when the hurlers are idols to every kid in the county and the footballers of Clare and Tipp have disappeared over the horizon. A promising start to the league fizzled out with five defeats in a row. Hard to imagine anything other than a quick two-and-out.