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Sky Sports cameras will have no impact on Offaly camp

Story by Laura Ryder

Friday, 6th June, 2014 9:59am

Sky Sports cameras will have no impact on Offaly camp

Offaly hurlers won't pass a bit of heed on the presence of broadcasting giant Sky at their game against Kilkenny in Nowlan Park tomorrow (Saturday) night, according to Offaly GAA PRO Eamonn Cusack.

The Leinster SHC quarter-final between Offaly and National League champions Kilkenny will be the first match to be broadcast live by Sky Sports as part of the deal recently agreed with the GAA.

However, Eamonn says the issue of who is broadcasting the match is of no concern to Offaly.

"We have to beat Kilkenny," Eamonn said. "Whether it's on RTE or Sky, it has no bearing on how Offaly are preparing for it or on the outcome. The players or management are in no way affected or influenced by who's showing this game. It's a huge task, and their only focus is on beating Kilkenny."

Eamonn said he suspects fewer people will see the game than if it was shown on RTE or TV3. He also said the Offaly camp is feeling good ahead of the game.

"I think they're quite confident," he said. "That's something you have to feel if you're taking on Kilkenny. They're well aware of what they have to do, and hopefully they'll do it."

Offaly have recorded some famous wins over Kilkenny in the past - most notably in the 1998 All-Ireland final, the last occasion when the Faithful County lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup. Interestingly, current Offaly manager Brian Whelahan was an inspirational figure in that Offaly triumph.

However, Kilkenny have been very much the masters in clashes against Offaly in recent years. Indeed, the Cats have won all of the last nine championship meetings between the counties.

Coverage of tomorrow evening's match starts on Sky Sports 3 from 6.30pm. The action throws in at Nowlan Park at 7pm.

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