JOHN Kiely’s competitive debut as Limerick senior hurling manager is confirmed for Waterford’s Walsh Park next Sunday January 8.
The opening round tie in the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League has a 2.00 start with Derek McGrath’s Waterford providing the opposition.
Limerick will be close to full strength for the early season provincial competition, which has a new sponsor this season. Limerick were winners of this competition in 2015 and beaten in the final by Clare last season.
Kevin Downes will miss 2017 due to a cruciate ligament injury but Sean Finn is close to a return to action after he sustained a crucicate injury in February.
Others like Paul Browne (knee), Richie English (finger), Alan Dempsey (hamstring) and Andrew La Touche Cosgrave (hand) are due back in full training after the Christmas break.
January will be hectic for the Limerick hurlers – after the January 8 trip to Waterford, Limerick entertain Cork the following Sunday and then on Sunday January 22 Kerry come to the Gaelic Grounds.
There is also a mid-week floodlit fixture on Wednesday January 18 when Limerick play Clare in Sixmilebridge.
Limerick’s Allianz League campaign begins on Sunday February 12 when John Kiely’s men are away to Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford.
For the seventh successive season the Limerick senior hurlers will play in the second tier. They face opposition from Galway, Wexford, Offaly, Laois and Kerry.
The final round of group games in Division 1B take place on Sunday March 26 when Limerick play Galway in the Gaelic Grounds.
The league quarter finals are set for April 1/2 with the top four teams in Division 1A playing the top four in Division 1B.