The Walsh Cup has a pre Christmas throw in this year as Offaly open their account this Sunday with a home game against their nearest and dearest – Laois.
The game is fixed for St Brendan’s Park in Birr with a 2pm throw in as Kevin Martin and his charges will get their first indication of how they are shaping up.
While it is far from the priority, the Walsh Cup will offer up a chance for players to stake an early claim while also allowing managers have a look at potential league and championship starters in a competitive enough manner.
Teams and panels are impossible to predict but it is extremely likely that there will be an experimental look to both sides with Martin looking for new blood from last year and Laois manager Eddie Brennan only in his first few months in the Laois job.
With away games against Dublin and Carlow to come, a positive start to the campaign is important, especially being at home.
The majority of National league games will be in O’Connor Park so this is also an opportunity to spread the games around with Birr being the winner this time around.
While it is still early days, there will probably still be significant interest in the game as supporters look to see who is involved and how they are shaping up.
Offaly will travel to Dublin on Sunday 16th of December to take on the Dubs while the third game in the group, away to Carlow will be played after Christmas on the 6th of January in Dr Cullen Park.