Fennelly expecting 'huge battle' from Tipp

Kilkenny captain Michael Fennelly says that his side do not need any reminder of just how good Tipperary are. The defending champions have the utmost respect for the Tipp side they will meet in Sunday's All-Ireland SHC final at Croke Park.

"We played Tipperary twice in the league this year. The first game, I think we caught them on a bad day," said Fennelly ahead of tonight's Kilkenny team announcement.

"The second day was obviously the league final, which went to the last second in extra-time. They are a great team throughout.

"They have solid backs and they have very good forwards, good movement and they have subs to come on too so it should be a huge battle. Both teams are level par to be honest."

Fennelly, who works for Ulster Bank, believes that this year's closely-fought league final confirmed just how much of a threat the Premier County are to Kilkenny's four-in-a-row bid.

"Tipperary down through the years have always had great hurlers. Then coming up to the league final we knew that they were coming full steam ahead and obviously from the game in Nowlan Park, they weren't pleased with that defeat.

"The league final was a serious game, it was physical. There were huge hits going in."

Although the Cats are gunning for their fourth successive All-Ireland title, Fennelly says that it is not the panel's sole focus - all of the players have different goals.

He added: "I think we all have individual goals on the team. Some players are going for the four-in-a-row and their main drive is the four-in-a-row.

"Other players might have only come on the panel last year so they might be going for the two-in-a-row, so we have all different goals.

"For me personally, it's all about making the team - that’s my personal ambition.

"Four-in-a-row is there in the back of our minds alright but the key focus is to win this All-Ireland. We are in it now so it is in our hands."

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