EXPERIENCES Carlow senior hurler Jack Kavanagh is happy to say hurling has become a way of life for him. He came on the scene for club and county in 2008 and after taking a break for a couple of years he has been an ever present for St Mullins and Carlow all the way through to 2019.
“It is nearly every day. You could be leaving your house six days out of seven if you are going to a pool, going to a gym, going training. It’s all the time, whether it’s preparing meals… I couldn’t put a time on it.”
After so many ups and downs with club and county since 2012, hurling has been good to him over the last two years. Certainly at intercounty level.
“We are after coming on in leaps and bounds. Carlow hurling is in a good place now as we go into the unknown,” says Kavanagh with relish.
With success came promotion. Carlow are now mixing it with the best teams in the country.
“It is a different step-up now. Training is going well but we won’t know where we are until we play Dublin. After that we will have a better idea. So far the set-up is good, training has been good and the effort has been there,” says the St Mullins man.
A line was drawn in the sand after Kavanagh was one of three players sent off against Antrim in the Joe McDonagh Cup second round game last year.
Ill-discipline could have cost the eventual winners dear that day. It was something that had to be worked on and Kavanagh maintains players must roll with the punches.
“We have done great work. We know you cannot get frustrated. You cannot react. You cannot do silly things like we were doing. Coming up a step after winning games, we probably will be tested more this year at this level and we’ll see how it’s going.”
The Metropolitans at home in the league will be a lot different than their Walsh Cup game in Carlow before Christmas.
“Dublin are a serious outfit. Mattie Kenny [Dublin manager] is a proven winner with what he has done with Cuala over the last few years.
“We are probably going into the Lion’s Den. We are going to go up there with nothing to lose and we will see where we are after 70 minutes. It is great to be going up against these teams and seeing where we are at this level,” says Jack.