The Laois senior hurlers are positive heading into Saturday’s Allians National League Division 1 opener against Wexford in MW Hire O’Moore Park at 7pm.
Manager and former Kilkenny hurler, Eddie Brennan, believes the young guns bring a lot to this squad.
Players such as Fiachra C-Fennell, Mark Hennessy and James Keyes are all in the mix this season.
Brennan said: “Fiachra C-Fennell had a great year with his club and that is why he is in.
“Young James Keyes from the U-20s and Mark Hennessy too. We have to find a bit of depth and we looked at the club championship.
“Are we playing catch up on some of the top teams in terms of conditioning? Maybe, we are not just there. But that is not something you can just flick a switch on – so we work on that.
“We always try to focus on our strengths our but getting new young guys into the set up is important. So if a guy is putting his hand up and club level, we have to act on that and give them an opportunity.”
After having such a brilliant season last year and winning the Joe McDonagh Cup, Brennan is hoping to replicate it this year.
“Last year, we got a knock-out place and this year you would love to get that again. Six matches when the weather is improving would be beneficial,” he said.
“But first and foremost you want to be competitive in those matches and hopefully stay where we are because that is the only way we are going to get better.
“People will be quick to point that the Carlow match is the big one but we have to play three of the teams that we are going to face in the championship so they are tests of where we are.
“All in all, we are geared towards championship because that is everything but the league is massively important,” added the 41 year old.