Cork's Robbie O’Flynn is very much in favour of the five-game Allianz Hurling League format, despite there being no knockout stages to chase involvement in.
While Division 1 hurling counties will each play five League games across May and June, there will be no quarter-finals, semi-finals, or final.
Instead, the top team in Division 1A and 1B will be crowned joint-winners, unless their paths cross in the Championship, with this fixture then to double up as the League final.
Prior to the finalisation of the revised inter-county fixture calendar for 2021, hurling counties were asked would they prefer a minimum five League games, with a three-week preparatory period, or three games after a four-week training window.
Cork forward O’Flynn is grateful that the former option was plumped for.
“I think everyone just wants to play games,” said the 23-year-old, who will participate in the ‘Puck for Pieta’ fundraiser organised by the Cork senior hurlers this weekend.
“I was happy enough to hear [they were going with five League games]. Fellas are going to need at least three or four games to get up to Championship pace.
“If a county only had three games in the League, you might end up playing just two of them, and that's really not that much to be gearing up for a championship. Five games is good. Obviously, fellas will need to recover properly and hopefully, there are not too many injuries.”
The Erin’s Own clubman added that the number of League games also gives an opportunity for management to have a proper look at the new faces in the panel.
With collective inter-county training resuming on Monday, O’Flynn said “it is like we are young fellas again going out to play hurling”.
“The enjoyment and appreciation of actually playing hurling again will be paramount. It is just really exciting to be getting back.”
But before training on Monday, there is the ‘Puck for Pieta’ fundraiser which O’Flynn was central in organising.
Starting at 4pm on Friday, the Cork senior hurling panel are undertaking a 48-hour ‘Puck for Pieta’. The event will see each player puck for one hour before the next panellist takes over. Players will be pucking from darkness into light to raise funds and awareness for Pieta House.
“It'll benefit us doing something together for the first time in a while and it will obviously benefit the charity. It is the first time we have done something together since the Tipperary Championship game last year, which is mad.”
Donations can be made here.